Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Friday extended his term as head of an important welfare foundation, a move seen as bolstering his presence as the de facto chief of South Korea's No. 1 business group.
Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation decided to extend the term of Lee for three more years after he was named as the chairman in 2015. He succeeded to the post after his father Lee Kun-hee was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.
The foundation, established in 1982, currently supports various projects for the low-income bracket and operates the Samsung Medical Center.
|Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)|
Industry watchers said the move reflects the group's efforts to solidify Lee Jae-yong's presence as the new leader of Samsung Group, which encompasses the world's largest manufacturer of chips and smartphones. The conglomerate's founder Lee Byung-chul also served as the foundation's chairman.
Some earlier expected that the foundation would refrain from naming Lee Jae-yong for another term considering the ongoing criticisms made against Samsung by civic groups.
He was released from prison in February after an appellate court handed him a suspended sentence in a bribery and corruption scandal that led to the ousting of former President Park Geun-hye in 2017.
The foundation said the decision came as Lee Jae-yong "well understands the founding spirit of the organization more than anyone." (Yonhap)