enterprise

Lee Kun-hee: ‘Hermit King’ of the Samsung empire – Asia Times


South Korea’s richest and most powerful industrialist, Lee Kun-hee, turned Samsung Electronics into one of the world’s biggest tech companies but lived a reclusive existence.

Still, occasional pronouncements on business by the tycoon, who died at 78 on Sunday, reverberated through the country.

When he inherited the chairmanship of the Samsung group in 1987 – founded by his father as a fish and fruit exporter – it was already the country’s largest conglomerate, with operations ranging from consumer electronics to construction.

But Lee transformed it into a global power – by the time he was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014, it was the world’s biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips.

He seldom ventured out from the high walls of his private compound in central Seoul to visit the company headquarters, earning him the nickname “hermit king”.



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