Samsung promotes son and heir closer to top job

Tue Dec 4, 2012 8:23pm EST
 
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By Miyoung Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co pushed the anointed heir of the company Chairman closer to the top job on Wednesday as the it cemented a global lead in smartphones with a stock price that is close to record highs.

The promotion of the snappily-dressed and bespectacled Jay Y. Lee, aged 44, to the job of vice chairman comes after Samsung marked the 25th anniversary of his father Lee Kun-hee's chairmanship last week.

"It is a stamp of approval from the chairman that the vice chairman has shown capability to manage Samsung. It's a major step forward (for Jay Lee to become) the future successor at Samsung," a Samsung executive familiar with the matter said.

Jay Lee is already chief operating officer and president and was thrust into the spotlight in June when then Samsung Electronics chief executive Choi Gee-sung, known to be his mentor, was promoted to lead the entire Samsung group's strategy, a defacto No.2 role within the group to chairman Lee.

Observers said at the time that Choi's move was aimed at preparing a succession plan for Jay Lee.

"As Vice Chairman, Lee will build on his existing responsibilities and take a broader role in managing Samsung Electronics' businesses," Samsung said in a statement.

"Lee will continue to play a critical role in transforming Samsung's business model - the set (product) business into one based on a platform and the component business into a total solution provider."

FROM SMALL TRADING COMPANY TO TECH GIANT   Continued...

 
Jay Y. Lee, son of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee and the company's chief operating officer arrives at the company's headquarters in Seoul December 1, 2010. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won