Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, passed away on Sunday at the age of 78. The South Korean group reported this in a statement.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics,” said the communiqué. Chairman Lee died on October 25 in the presence of his family, including Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee. He was a true visionary who turned Samsung from a local company into a leading innovator and industrial powerhouse.
Lee has been responsible for Samsung since 1987, which has since grown into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of smartphones, televisions and memory chips. In 2008, he resigned from his position on the group’s board of directors after being convicted of tax evasion. In early 2010, however, he returned as chairman. Lee has been bedridden since suffering a heart attack in 2014. After his heart attack, his son Jay Y. Lee served as Vice President.
Lee was one of the richest men in South Korea, and Forbes magazine ranked him 35th among the most powerful people in the world in 2014.