Lees on Vanity Fair innovators list

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Lees on Vanity Fair innovators list

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The names of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee and his son Lee Jae-yong made it on the list of the world’s leading innovators to be published next month by Vanity Fair.

The U.S. magazine ranked the 71-year-old Samsung leader and his likely heir, also known as Jay Y. Lee, 45, in the No. 6 spot on a 50-person New Establishment List that was disclosed on its Web site Saturday. This is the first time a Korean was included on the list, a decision that reflected the fast-growing clout of Samsung on the back of its success with its Galaxy smartphones.

The Seoul-based company, which is the world’s largest smartphone vendor, said on Friday that it has surpassed a 10 trillion won ($9.35 billion) quarterly operating profit for the first time in the third quarter, which ended in September, continuing its successful challenge against its archrivals, including Apple.

Many analysts are predicting an even better fourth quarter for the tech giant with sales of its new flagship smartphone, Galaxy Note 3, and its smart watch accessory, Galaxy Gear.

Vanity Fair said that the Lee duo has transformed Samsung into Apple’s most credible challenger.

“Samsung’s clever, and successful, ad campaign ‘The Next Big Thing Is Already Here,’ timed to the release of the iPhone 5, raised the question, ‘Is Apple still cool?’ Vanity Fair commented, introducing the Lee duo on its Web site. Apple CEO Tim Cook and its chief designer Jonathan Ive, who topped the list last year, sank down to third place.

“It has been two years since the death of Steve Jobs, and CEO Cook’s sophomore year has been full of challenges,” the magazine said. “The stock price has fallen 35 percent in the past year, as investors fret over a company that is years removed from its last big hit, the 2010 iPad.”

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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