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[Breaking] Lee Jae-yong: I will not pass on Samsung’s management to my children

Samsung Electronics heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)
Samsung Electronics heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)

Samsung Electronics heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Wednesday said he plans not to pass on the management of the tech empire to his children, in a televised public apology in Seoul.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say that I do not plan on bequeathing the management rights of the company to my children,” Lee said.

“I have thought about it for a long time, but it is the first time to publicly say it,” he said as he stood before reporters to deliver the apology over controversies surrounding his succession and the group’s anti-labor policies.

It was the first time he had officially appeared before media since 2015 when he apologized for mistakes at the Samsung Medical Center during the outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Lee’s apology comes after a compliance monitoring committee led by former Justice Chief Kim Ji-hyung advised the vice chairman in March to concede and apologize about past wrongdoings.

The committee was formed in February at the order of Justice Jeong Joon-young, who currently leads the retrial of Lee’s bribery and embezzlement case involving former President Park Geun-hye.

Some critics viewed the Wednesday apology as Samsung’s tactic to induce the court to confirm the suspension of his five-year sentence currently in appeals, after it was overturned by the Supreme Court in August.

Judge Jeong had ordered Lee to make visible efforts to enhance Samsung’s compliance to prevent a repeat of such bribery scandals in the first hearing.

By Song Su-hyun (
Korea Herald Youtube