Samsung Group’s business strategies hindered by leader’s imprisonment

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and the de facto heir to the Samsung Group has been imprisoned for nearly four months now. His time behind bars is impacting the group’s business strategies which is facing hurdles in trying to navigate its way without its leader at the helm, according to industry watchers.

Lee was imprisoned back in February this year following revelations about this alleged connection to a political scandal involving bribery and corruption. That scandal has already lead to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung has been running its routine business in the absence of its leader, it has crossed major milestones such as the launch of the Galaxy S8. However, the absence of Lee is felt when charting a course for the future, given that Lee is involved in all important decisions.

His imprisonment has impacted Samsung’s move to seek out more mergers and acquisitions aside from allocating major investment. Samsung is yet to make another acquisition ever since it acquired Harman for $8 billion in November last year. The company has said since then that it’s continuously looking to acquire new companies that align with its vision for growth.

Lee Jae-yong’s trial is still underway and it’s unclear if the courts will give him a clean chit. He may spend decades behind bars if he’s convicted of the offenses that he’s being tried for.

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A group can’t always rely on its leader. An important ordeal of Samsung.