Farewell to Samsung Chair Lee Kun-hee

29-Oct-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Attended by family, close relatives and long-time friends, the funeral of Samsung Chair Lee Kun-hee was held in the conglomerate’s prestigious Samsung Medical centre in southern Seoul, Wednesday.

The funeral ceremony, which started around 7:30 a.m. in a funeral hall at the centre, lasted about an hour. The late chair’s widow Hong Ra-hee, his only son Samsung Electronics vice Chair Lee Jae-yong, oldest daughter Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin and younger daughter Samsung Foundation President Lee Seo-hyun and Seo hyun’s husband Kim Jae-yeol, CEO at Samsung Economic Research Institute, attended the ceremony.

The late chair’s sister Shinsegae Group Chairwoman Lee Myung-hee and his nephew CJ Group Chair Lee Jae-hyun were also in attendance. Hyundai Motor Chair Chung Euisun, Honorary Kolon Chair Lee Woong-ryeol and Hanwha Chair Kim Seung-youn’s three sons including the group’s next leader Hanwha Solution CEO Kim Dong-kwan also appeared for the private ceremony at the hospital.

The funeral started with an introduction of the late chair’s biography read by Samsung Economic Research Institute Chair Lee Su-bin, the former acting Samsung chair, who reminisced about the late chair’s efforts to expand Samsung’s footprint in semiconductors.

Kim Phil-kyu, K.P.K. International chair and a longtime friend of the late chair, said during the ceremony, “I am here to share something that I’ve shared with the late chair as a friend during our high school days. Kun-hee was curious and he told me about the significance of the semiconductor business which he learned from his father, the group founder Lee Byung-chull. While I have visited a lot of countries, the late chair is the man who did far better than his father. Like what his father did, vice Chair Lee will help grow Samsung much better by writing a new history.”

Later, video clips were shown highlighting the late chair’s career, from his efforts to grow Samsung into a global company starting when he took power of the group in December 1987, up to his hospitalisation in 2014, as well as his contributions to leveling up Korea’s position in sports diplomacy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

At 8:50 a.m., the funeral procession headed for Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, in Hannam-dong and briefly traveled to his home and main guest house Seungjiwon in Itaewon before moving to Samsung’s Giheung-Hwaseong semiconductor plant south of Seoul, where employees lined up for a last farewell to the late chair. The procession ended in Suwon, where Lee was laid to rest at the Lee family’s burial site.

Lee died on October 25 at the age of 78 six years after he was hospitalised after a heart attack. President Moon Jae-in didn’t pay tribute at the service, but observed Lee’s passing with a floral arrangement sent to the medical centre.

Lee Kun-hee was a prominent business mogul who transformed Samsung, which started as a cheap seller, into a global electronics giant after taking control of the company. Today, Samsung is the world’s top manufacturer of smartphones, TVs and displays.



Category: Korea

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