Samsung’s Lee Kun-hee in hospital

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Samsung’s Lee Kun-hee in hospital

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee has been hospitalized for the past week with pneumonia, forcing the group to postpone for the second time a celebration of the 20th anniversary of wide-scale reform in the company.

Rumors about the legendary business figure’s health - ranging from the benign to the grave - have been swapped among the media and stock brokerages after the first delay of the celebration was announced last week. Lee underwent treatment for lung cancer in the late 1990s.

“Chairman Lee is likely get out of the hospital this weekend but will take a rest for the time being at home, skipping the routine Tuesday commute to the Seocho headquarters next week,” said Rhee In-yong, president of Samsung’s communication team at a press briefing yesterday.

Lee plans to attend the International Olympics Committee meeting scheduled for Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires, Rhee added.

The nation’s top conglomerate originally planned to throw the anniversary event on Aug. 16 and invite almost 400 executives from all of its affiliates at the Hotel Shilla in central Seoul. It was rescheduled for Friday and then indefinitely delayed yesterday.

Samsung will try to hold the event next month, according to Rhee.

While on a global tour to visit Samsung factories and offices, Lee ordered employees to “change everything except for wives and children” on June 7, 1993. The incident is widely known as the “Frankfurt proclamation” because he was in the German city at the time.

Samsung scheduled the celebration for August rather than June 7 because the Hotel Shilla, which Lee’s eldest daughter runs, was in the middle of remodeling and reopened Aug. 1.

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