The 48-year-old Lee, the only son of the ailing Samsung patriarch, Chairman Lee Kun-hee, was nominated to join the board in September and it will be put to a vote at a shareholders meeting on Oct. 27.
“We have decided to vote in favor of Samsung heir’s nomination to the board because he is qualified to serve in the post and his joining will help more responsible management of the owner family,” an NPS official said.
|Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee (left) and his son, Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong|
The NPS holds an 8.38 percent stake in the tech giant, the crown jewel of Samsung Group.
The state-run fund’s approval comes after major proxy advisory institutions at home and abroad, including Institutional Shareholder Service and Korea’s Corporate Governance Service, have expressed their support for Lee’s nomination as a board member.
The NPS is also expected to approve the planned sale of Samsung’s printing business division to HP Inc., the US printer and PC maker.
Since his father’s hospitalization in 2014 following a severe heart attack, the junior Lee has been the de facto leader of the nation’s largest conglomerate, making key decisions across Samsung companies.
Keen attention is being paid to the shareholders meeting next week. Industry watchers say Samsung could announce follow-up measures amid the ongoing recall of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, including management change and new compensation program for customers, parts suppliers and telecom partners.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)