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Samsung heir apparent takes on bigger role

Lee Jay-yong

Publication Date : 18-09-2012


Samsung heir apparent Lee Jay-yong is seemingly taking on a bigger role in management, actively engaging in talks with world industrial leaders.

Samsung officials confirmed on Monday that the chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics, who is also the only son of Samsung Electronics’ chairman Lee Kun-hee, met with Carlos Ghosn, the chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Although the company officials could not confirm the details of the meeting, local news reports said that the two sides discussed the matter of Renault Samsung Motors.

Samsung Card currently has a 19.9 per cent stake in Renault Samsung and also receives royalties as the automaker uses its brand “Samsung” under a 10-year contract.

The news report said the two executives may have talked about selling Samsung’s stake to Nissan.

Renault Samsung, however, denied the rumors as well as the fact that the meeting took place.

Lee Jay-yong also showed his leadership last week when Samsung Group officially announced that the country’s largest conglomerate signed a business strategic partnership with Hong Kong’s Li Ka Shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings.

Cheung Kong Holdings is the flagship unit of Cheung Kong Group and Li is known to be Asia’s richest man, being ranked ninth among the world’s 100 richest men in 2011. He also owns Hutchison Whampoa.

The meeting, which took place at the Cheung Kong Group headquarters in the central district of Hong Kong, was presided by Lee Kun-hee and Li.

But Lee’s heir apparent Jay-yong was said to have been the one who played a huge role in leading the two major Asian conglomerates to come together for better business.

The heir apparent practiced his leadership when H3G, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, chose Samsung Electronics as its exclusive supplier of base stations for fourth-generation Long Term Evolution networks in Britain.

This contract was also a boost to Samsung since it enabled the Suwon-based electronics manufacturer to make its entry into the European LTE market.

Going a step further, Lee Jay-yong has also increased his management role by visiting Chinese vice premier Wang Qishan last month together with Samsung vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun.

During the meeting, the two parties exchanged views on the China projects put forward by Samsung affiliates ― Samsung Electronics and Samsung C&T.

He is also the independent director of Exor, an Italy-based investment holding company, who also owns global carmaker Fiat-Chrysler.

On a related front, he has been holding meetings with chief executives of global companies such as General Motors, Toyota and BMW.


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