The heir of Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, has presented on Wednesday to apologize for the scandals and affairs that have leaded the largest south Korean group, in particular for the process of succession controversial which allows him to take the head of the world’s leading manufacturer of phones.
Vice-president of Samsung Electronics, the flagship of the conglomerate Lee Jae-yong was convicted in 2017, to five years in prison as part of the resounding corruption scandal that had led to the impeachment and imprisonment of the ex-president of south korea Park Geun-hye.
The leader of the 51-year-old was released a year later. But his case is currently the subject of a new trial.
“We are recognized for our technology and our first-class products, yet the public opinion is very critical of Samsung “, he said.
“All this is due to our failings. This is my fault and I present my sincere apologies “, he added.
Mr. Lee bowed three times in front of photographers gathered in a conference room at the group of Samsung Electronics in Seoul.
He promised that there would be “more controversial” with respect to his promotion. “I will not do anything which is contrary to the law. ”
Freedom of association
These public apologies were an application of the compliance committee of the group, which supervises transparency within the conglomerate.
Mr. Lee is in fact the boss of Samsung, since his father Lee Kun-Hee, who had transformed the company into a behemoth of technology, has been struck down in 2014 by a heart attack, from which he is bedridden.
The group was founded in 1938 by the grandfather of Lee Jae-yong. The latter promised that he would be the last in the line of family succession.
“I do not transmit my position to my children “, he assured. “It is one thing to which I think for a long time, but I was hesitant to announce it publicly. ”
The corruption case that has earned him the prison door on the millions of dollars paid by the group to the confidante of the shadow of Ms. Park in exchange for favors from the government, and particularly the fact to facilitate the succession of the father by the son.
This scandal had emphasized once more the bridging disorder between the south Korean and the major families that control the ” chaebols “, these conglomerates to the origin of the tremendous recovery after the War of Korea, a country that today is the 12th economy in the world.
The turnover of the Samsung group alone accounts for one-fifth of the GDP of south korea, where its political and economic weight is considerable.
Lee Kun-hee, who is still officially the president, is, according to Bloomberg Billionaires, the richest man in the country and 65th in the world, with an estimated fortune of $ 15.7 billion. That of Lee Jae-yong is estimated to be $ 5.7 billion.
In march, the compliance committee, whose creation was the result of a decision of justice in this sense, he estimated that several incidents of “outrageous” were directly related to the mechanism put in place for the handover of power at the head of the group. It was then that he had advised Mr. Lee to apologize.
He had also asked the leader to express themselves on the political union which has so long prevailed at the head of the company.
For nearly half a century, until November 2019, Samsung has successfully managed to counter all attempts of creation of a trade union, sometimes at the price of methods muscular.
“I would like to present my flattest apology to all the people who have suffered from the trade union issues within Samsung,” said Mr Lee. “From now on, I will be sure that Samsung is not criticized for his handling of issues related to trade unions. ”
The group, he promised, will ensure the respect of workers ‘ rights, including the training of trade union leaders, collective bargaining, or the right of assembly.