All might be going well on the technological front, but behind the scenes at Samsung HQ all has not been well and today Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, indicted last week on tax evasion charges after a counsel investigation, has announced he will be resigning from the company.
"I today have decided to resign from the post of chairman of Samsung Group," the son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul explained in a news conference. "We, including myself, have caused troubles to the nation with the special probe. I deeply apologize for that, and I'll take full responsibility for everything, both legally and morally."
Joining Lee in stepping down will be Vice Chairman Lee Hak-soo and Lee Jae-yong, the chairman's son and heir apparent to the Samsung throne. Nine other senior executives have also left Samsung following the charges. Lee Soo-bin, chairman of Samsung Life Insurance, will take over the Samsung Group following the resignations while the company has yet to declare whether it will look for a replacement chairman.
This latest sorry saga for the company's senior executives comes just five days after Lee was indicted for evading $133m in taxes following a three month investigation into the family run conglomerate instigated by a former Samsung lawyer. Despite the severity of the situation however, the company was cleared of the most serious allegation that it raised money to bribe influential citizens and ministers in its native South Korea.
It is not the first time the Samsung chairman has been dogged by controversy. In the 1990s he was convicted for bribery but managed to hold onto his position.
What goes around...