Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee (center) on Monday poses with a bouquet presented by Samsung employees who welcomed him back to work after his trip to South Africa. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Samsung Group owner Lee Kun-hee on Monday was greeted with a warm welcome from Samsung employees for his role in helping PyeongChang City win the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Around 500 executives and employees were at Samsung’s Seoul headquarters on Lee’s first day back to work since his trip to Durban, South Africa, where PyeongChang was announced as the winner of the bid.
Lee’s son Lee Jae-yong ― president of Samsung Electronics ― were among those who welcomed Lee, along with Kim Soon-taek, chief of Samsung’s strategic planning unit.
The senior Lee is a member of the International Olympic Committee, and was applauded for his behind-the-scenes role in enlisting global support for PyeongChang, largely based on his status as head of the world’s largest electronics company.
Lee made no significant comment, but he posed for photos with about 30 employees before making his way up to the 42nd floor to his office.
The business tycoon had returned from Durban on July 8. South Korea last week was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, compensating for two previous unsuccessful bids.
The country had been up against European competition from Munich of Germany and Ansi of France.
In addition to Lee, a score of local business leaders including Cho Yang-ho, head of Hanjin Group and the bid committee, made a collective effort to push for PyeongChang.
Lee was elected an IOC member in 1996 but resigned in July of 2008 following his indictment on charges of tax evasion. He returned to the post after receiving a special pardon from President Lee Myung-bak in 2009.
By Kim Ji-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org