Business & Economy

Family bids farewell to late Samsung chief in private ceremony

Seoul, Oct 28 (efe-epa).- The family members of the late chairman of South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung Group said their private goodbyes in the funeral hall of the medical center in Seoul Wednesday.

Lee Kun-hee had been hospitalized at the Samsung Medical Center six years ago after a heart attack in May 2014, and had been bedridden since.

The man who transformed the local business into a multinational giant died on Sunday at the age of 78.

Lee’s funeral was held in the presence of his wife, Hong Ra-hee, 75, daughters Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyeon, and son Lee Jae-yong, the group’s vice chairman and heir apparent, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Also present were the chairman of retailer Shinsegae Group and sister of the late Samsung chief, Lee Myung-hee, and the chairman of CJ Group, which was originally part of Samsung, Lee Jae-hyun, who is a nephew of the late tycoon, as well as the newly appointed chairman of Hyundai Motor, Chung Eui-sun.

The funeral procession for Lee visited Samsung Electronics’ chip factories in Yongin and Hwaseong, located south of Seoul, where employees lined up to pay their respects, before arriving at Suwon, a town south of the capital where Lee was to be buried alongside his ancestors.

Lee, the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul, was South Korea’s richest man with a net worth more than $20 billion, according to Forbes.

He was also responsible for turning the business into a multinational entity with tech giant Samsung Electronics at the forefront.

Born in 1942 in Uiryeong county, South Gyeongsang province in the southeast of the country, he assumed the group’s leadership in 1987 following the death of his father.

From 1993 he decided to change the direction of the business to internationalize it, and made Samsung Electronics the world’s largest producer of memory chips and one of the most recognized consumer electronics brands in the world.

It is estimated that Samsung Electronics alone generates about 20 percent of South Korea’s gross domestic product.

During his 33-year reign, the assets of the group, which has businesses in sectors ranging from construction to insurance, the pharmaceutical industry to shipyards, went from about 10 trillion won (about $8.85 billion) to more than 800 trillion won. EFE-EPA


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