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Samsung heir Lee takes bigger role in managing tech giant
Publication Date : 19-08-2014
Lee Jay-yong, a vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is gaining public exposure by taking a bigger role in tackling managerial issues amid the prolonged managerial vacuum caused by the illness of his father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee.
According to Samsung Group, the junior Lee went on three business trips over the past few weeks, to the US, Europe and China. Representing the tech giant, he joined the Allen & Co. conference, an annual gathering which draws big names from the global media and technology sectors, in Sun Valley, Idaho, last month. At the conference, Lee was spotted by the media chatting amicably with Apple CEO Tim Cook, signaling that the two counterparts could finally get in a conciliatory mood after a series of acrimonious patent lawsuits that have lasted for years.
Earlier this month, Samsung and Apple agreed to drop all patent lawsuits outside the US.
“It is still too early to say that vice chairman Lee, the de facto heir apparent of Samsung Group, is at the forefront of managing the whole of Samsung Group, but he appears to have taken a bigger role, at least, at the electronics firm,” an industry source said.
He also headed to China to meet up with Chinese political leaders including Hu Chunhua, the secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, last Friday.
The Samsung heir apparent is said to have discussed with the secretary the increase of investment in Guangdong Province. The tech behemoth is operating factory lines for smartphones in the region.
Last Sunday, Lee had a meeting with Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympics Committee, and signed an agreement to extend Samsung’s partnership with the IOC through to the 2020 Olympic Games.