Lee Jae-yong vows end to dynasty at Samsung Group
Samsung’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong vowed to end dynastic succession at Korea’s largest business group in a public mea culpa for irregularities in his own rise to the top.
“I won’t hand down [Samsung’s] managerial power to my children,” Lee said after offering an apology for being found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in the past.
It was a rare pledge for a Korean chaebol, where family control is the norm.
“Samsung has grown to become a top-tier company on the global stage,” Lee said, “But we sometimes failed to meet public expectations since [Samsung] didn’t strictly follow the law and ethical standards ... This is my fault. I apologize.”
Lee, who is vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, pledged to abide by the law in future succession procedures.
A Samsung internal committee recommended that Lee apologize to the public as he is in the middle of two high profile trials, including a retrial of a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye.
Samsung set up the committee in March after a judge in that bribery case demanded in October that Samsung build an internal system to ensure that the group and its leaders follow laws, regulations and business rules.
Lee's apology was his first since June 2015 when he apologized publicly for Samsung Medical Center’s poor handling of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, outbreak.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]