Expecting another leapFormer Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee has returned to the front line of business management as chairman of Samsung Electronics.
It’s been 23 months since he retired, taking responsibility for the Samsung Group slush funds scandal in April 2008. Since then, he has refrained from any public activities and stayed quiet and cautious, completing all legal processes and ultimately receiving a special presidential pardon at the end of last year.
Apparently the chairman decided to return to management largely because of a sense of uncertainty concerning the future of Samsung Electronics, which has grown into a top-class global company.
Just as Toyota, the Japanese motor company that rose to No. 1 in the international market, suddenly collapsed due to a moment of carelessness, the global business environment is changing so rapidly that it’s hard for any company to see even one day ahead.
In this volatile situation, Samsung Group executives requested the return of Chairman Lee, and Lee accepted the request after a month of deliberation. “Now is the real crisis,” Lee explained. “Top global companies are crumbling. We do not know what will happen to Samsung. We must start again. There is no time for hesitation. We must only look forward.”
His explanation for his return to management clearly reflects the worldwide economic turmoil.
Samsung Electronics has become a global company that represents Korea. The rise and fall of the company will inevitably make a significant impact not only on Chairman Lee, a major shareholder of the company, but also on the future of the Korean economy.
Therefore, there is no need to hesitate when it comes to mobilizing all internal and external resources available if his return means Samsung Electronics will be put in a position to overcome dangers that arise when a company reaches the pinnacle in global economic competition.
In this respect, we understand and welcome the return of Chairman Lee to the management front line.
If he can fully exercise the corporate management leadership and experience he has shown over the years to open a new future for Samsung Electronics, there’s no need to delay his return just because of past faults.
We now hope Chairman Lee will lead Samsung Electronics to take another leap forward, using all his talent and abilities.
This would be the only way to justify his change of mind from two years ago when he humbly said, “I will leave my job, taking all my past faults and mistakes with me.”