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September 13, 2016

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Nomination of scion sees new era at Samsung

SAMSUNG Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the only son of its ailing chairman, was nominated yesterday to join its board of directors.

The announcement comes as the South Korean company grapples with an unprecedented smartphone recall that has wiped out billions of dollars from its market value.

In announcing Lee’s nomination to the board, the company said in a statement that the Samsung board believes that “the time is now right.”

Rather than waiting until the shareholder meeting next year, “his appointment now will allow him to more actively participate — and take formal responsibility — as a board member in important decisions such as the composition of the executive management team and strategic growth initiatives including M&A deals.”

The nomination signals a new era for Samsung under a third generation of its founding family.

Lee, 48, is thought to have been making key decisions for Samsung since his father Lee Kun-hee, 74, has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in 2014, leaving him unable to oversee the company.

The younger Lee made national headlines when he publicly apologized for a Samsung-owned hospital’s failure to contain the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome in a live TV broadcast in 2015.

Samsung officials have said given the Confucian tradition of filial piety, it has been difficult for the younger Lee to take on a bigger leadership role while his father is still alive.

Lee’s nomination will be put to a shareholder vote on October 27.



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