Lee Jae-yong may give up Samsung directorship

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Lee Jae-yong may give up Samsung directorship

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong could give up his board seat later this month.

Lee’s three-year term on the board expires on Oct. 26. No announcement has been made, but Samsung Electronics is not expected to hold any board meeting or shareholder meeting to vote on whether Lee would extend his term. The company’s internal policies state that a vote extending a term for a board member must be disclosed to shareholders two weeks in advance.


Lee Jae-yong

If Lee is to keep his seat, Samsung Electronics would have to notify shareholders by this Saturday and the board would have to vote by Oct. 26.

Samsung Electronics’ de facto CEO may be leaving the board to prepare for a retrial of bribery charges that could put him back in jail. The Supreme Court in late August ordered a retrial of Lee and overturned a lower court’s dismissal of key bribery convictions in the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment and removal of former President Park Geun-hye from power.

Lee served a year in prison from February 2017 to February 2018. He was set free thanks to an appeals court ruling reducing his prison sentence.

Lee is expected to remain as the leader of the entire conglomerate whether he is on the electronics affiliate’s board or not.

Leadership is very much needed for Samsung Electronics considering the challenges introduced by the trade conflict between the United States and China and export restrictions on key semiconductor materials from Japan.

Lee, along with key Samsung Group executives and some government officials, is expected to announce Thursday that Samsung Electronics will invest 13.2 trillion won ($11.02 billion) in making quantum-dot organic light-emitting diode (QD-OLED) displays.

Of the total investment, 10 trillion won will be dedicated to converting a liquid crystal display assembly line in Samsung Display’s Asan factory in South Chungcheong while the rest will be used for research and development.

Samsung has been researching QD-OLED as a product on its own but also as a part of improving its quantum-dot light-emitting diode (QLED) panels, which would have quantum dots emitting light on their own without a backlight.

BY KO JUN-TAE, KIM YOUNG-MIN [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]
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