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Samsung heirs face a £7.8BILLION inheritance tax invoice – one of many world’s greatest ever

Lee Kun-hee inherited the chairmanship of the Samsung group in 1987 – based by his father as a fish and fruit exporter – it was already the nation’s largest conglomerate, with operations starting from client electronics to building.

However Lee reworked it into a worldwide energy – by the point he was left bedridden by a coronary heart assault in 2014, it was the world’s greatest maker of smartphones and reminiscence chips.

He seldom ventured out from the excessive partitions of his non-public compound in central Seoul to go to the corporate headquarters, incomes him the nickname ‘hermit king’.

Samsung is by far the largest of the chaebols, the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate South Korea’s economic system.

They drove the nation’s transformation from a war-ravaged break to the world’s Twelfth-largest economic system, however these days are accused of murky political ties and stifling competitors – with Lee himself twice convicted of prison offences, in a single case bribing a president. 

Chairman Lee as a toddler collectively along with his father Lee Byung-chull and mom in South Korea

Lee Kun-hee will get appointed as chairman of Samsung Group in 1987

Lee’s far-sighted management fashion was extensively credited with turning Samsung Electronics, now the group’s flagship subsidiary, into one of many world’s main builders and producers of semiconductors, cellphones and LCDs. 

Early in Lee’s chairmanship, Samsung was seen as a shoddy producer of low-cost, low-quality merchandise.

‘Let’s change every part besides our wives and youngsters,’ he mentioned in 1993.

The corporate gathered up and burnt all 150,000 cellphones it had in inventory, paving the way in which for the rebirth of the extremely profitable ‘Anycall’ handset.

Quickly afterwards, he ordered Chinese language-made merchandise to be displayed at Samsung headquarters, saying it was vital to point out how China was rapidly catching up.

Lee hardly ever spoke to the media, however was carefully watched each time he broke his lengthy silences, typically with doom-laden New Yr company addresses.

In conferences with subordinates and occasional interviews, Lee all the time harassed the significance of brilliant minds in enterprise.

‘It doesn’t matter what occurs, there shall be nothing to be afraid of if now we have the most effective expertise,’ he as soon as mentioned.

‘Within the period of limitless competitors, successful or shedding will depend on a small variety of geniuses… One genius will feed 100,000 individuals.’ 

Lee, the third son of Samsung group founder Lee Byung-chull, had a delicate spot for canines – developed as a toddler in Japan the place he went to high school from age 11.

‘My past love was my Pekingese,’ Lee wrote in a set of essays printed in 1997. ‘I discovered then that an emotional dialogue between a person and a canine was doable.’

He was additionally recognized for his love of films, horseriding and unique supercars.

Lee studied at Japan’s prestigious Waseda College and earned an MBA at George Washington College in america.

On the age of 36, he turned vice chairman of the group’s building and buying and selling arm, and have become group chairman 9 years later, shortly after his father’s dying.

Lee was recognized for taking months-long journeys to Hawaii and Japan earlier than key enterprise choices, together with the promotion of his personal son Lee Jae-yong to vice chairman of Samsung Electronics in 2013. 

Huge enterprise and political energy have typically been carefully linked in South Korea, and in 1996, Lee Kun-hee was convicted of bribing former president Roh Tae-woo.

Whereas Roh was in workplace, Lee paid him ‘a big sum of cash in bribes over an extended interval’, the court docket dominated, searching for favours for Samsung within the president’s enterprise coverage choices.

Lee was additionally discovered responsible of embezzlement and tax evasion in a slush fund scandal in 2008, which noticed him briefly step down from the corporate management.

However suspended sentences meant he by no means served time in jail and he obtained two presidential pardons, occurring to spearhead his nation’s profitable efforts to safe the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Just a few years later, he fought off a lawsuit from his older brother and sister claiming they had been entitled to Samsung shares price billions of {dollars}.

Lee married Hong Ra-hee – whose father was a justice minister – with whom he had a son and three daughters.

After his coronary heart assault, Lee spent his final years in medical care.

Secretly filmed footage broadcast in 2017 confirmed him seated in a wheelchair, whereas different reviews mentioned he was in a coma however didn’t want a ventilator.

Little was ever revealed about his situation, leaving him shrouded in thriller even in his closing days.  

Reporting by AFP 

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