Following the death of Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee on Sunday, it is being speculated that Lee Jae-Yong will get promoted to the post of chairman in the company. Although he was already recognized as the company’s de facto leader and had been taking all the important decisions, he would now receive the official position.
Lee Kun-Hee died at the age of 78, more than six years after he suffered a heart attack. Now, the junior Lee is the only one among the chiefs of South Korea’s top conglomerates who has not yet taken the chairman’s title. Apparently, he was of the opinion that it wasn’t appropriate to take the title of chairman while his father was still alive. Lee Kun-Hee took the chairmanship 20 days after his father’s death and Samsung’s founder Lee Byung-Chull, who died in 1987.
Lee Jae-Yong may not be able to take the title of Samsung’s chairman just yet. He has been put on trial for allegedly forcing the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T and being involved in accounting fraud and stock manipulation. He was indicted last month and is also facing a bribing case that led to the ouster of the ex-president of South Korea, Park Geun-Hye.
Samsung heir, aged 52, would also receive a part of Lee Kun-Hee’s personal wealth, which is being speculated to be around $21 billion. However, he and his two sisters would have to pay record-high inheritance taxes as per South Korean laws. Lee Jae-Yong was also absent from the case’s retrial as he had to attend his father’s funeral.