The Samsung Empire is looking for an ’emperor’ Samsung’s 72-year-old chairman Lee Kun Lee has been hospitalized since a heart attack in May, so, next in line for the electronic giant’s throne is 46-year-old Lee Jae Yong, Kun Lee’s only son. Bloomberg has profiled the younger Lee, who has been instrumental in Samsung’s partnership with Apple.
While his father was considered as “God”, the younger Lee Jae Long is low-key, approachable and can speak three languages. Moreover, Bloomberg claims, he could help the company shift focus from hardware to software and future collaborations.
However, Jae Yong still has to prove that he is able to manage the empire his father built – his grandfather founded the Samsung conglomerate and his father molded it into the country’s largest business group.
People familiar with Lee’s work at Samsung have revealed Jae Yong (also known as Jay Y) has fostered the partnership with Apple that cemented the success of the iPod: the company invested into new manufacturing capacity to make smaller, lighter flash chips.
On top of this, discussions with Steve Jobs led the Korean company to developing organic light-emitting diode displays for future use in the televisions Apple was considering producing, and already currently used in Samsung Galaxy devices.
Greg Tarr, a former Deutsche Bank AG technology analyst turned Silicon Valley venture capitalist, said Jay Y. was responsible for getting Samsung components deep into the guts of the iPhone.
“He was sent over to negotiate with Steve Jobs,” Tarr said. “And guess what? There was only one Samsung executive invited to the [memorial service], and that’s Jay Y. There were some people pretty high up in the food chain here in Silicon Valley who didn’t get invited.”
The next Samsung emperor will take the group into a new era. A lot has changed since it became the largest group in South Korea: its revenue skyrocketed, but the country has changed as well. You can read the Bloomberg article by following this link.