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Samsung chairman Lee celebrates 70th birthday

After wrapping up a hectic itinerary of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, all family members of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee got together at the Silla Hotel on Sunday.

The event was to celebrate his 70th birthday. All his family members and some 130 senior executives of Samsung subsidiaries attended his birthday party.

It is the first time for him to invite senior executives of Samsung affiliates to his birthday banquet at the hotel after he backed off from management in January, 2007.

He reportedly celebrated his three previous birthdays at home with his immediate family members.
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee (center) and his wife Hong Ra-hee walk into Hotel Silla to attend his birthday party Sunday. (Lee Gil-dong/The Korea Herald)
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee (center) and his wife Hong Ra-hee walk into Hotel Silla to attend his birthday party Sunday. (Lee Gil-dong/The Korea Herald)

Family attendees were his wife Hong Ra-hee, former director of the Leeum museum; his only son and Samsung Electronics President Lee Jae-yong; his daughter Lee Boo-jin, president of Hotel Silla and Samsung Everland; his second daughter Lee Seo-hyun, vice president of Cheil Worldwide Inc. and Cheil Industries; his eldest son-in-law Im Woo-jae, Samsung Electro-Mechanics senior vice president; and his second eldest son-in-law Kim Jae-yul, vice president of Cheil Industries.

“This event is particularly meaningful since it’s his 70th birthday and also because it is the first birthday after his return to management in four years,” a Samsung official said. “However, the birthday celebration would be more of a consolation for his hard work.”

The two-hour, 40-minute party also featured performances by soprano Cho Su-mi and Kenya Jirani children’s choir.

In his 60th birthday 10 years ago, Lee was presented with a book titled “Family” jointly published by his family members. In his 70th birthday, he received a waxed doll and a congratulatory letter from his only son.

Lee as chairman of Samsung Electronics reiterated a call for change and innovation despite the company’s stellar performances last year.

“The coming years will be unlike the past 10,” he said.

He also indicated that his son would be promoted during a reshuffling. However, junior Lee is known to walk on tip-toe after his father’s comeback to chairmanship.

(jurie777@heraldcorp.com)
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