Lee Jae- Yong, the billionaire heir of Samsung, has been sentenced to 2.5 years in jail and ordered back to prison on Monday in a retrial in the bribery scandal.
Lee, who resumed leadership of Samsung after his father was hospitalized in 2014 and later died, has been accused of actively seeking favors and providing bribes to the then South Korean President Park Geun-Hye to use her discretion and power to help him come to succession and pave a smooth transition for Lee.
In a retrial, the South Korean court ordered Lee back to prison and handed him a sentence of 2.5 years that cost the then-president from stepping down from the position as massive protests erupted even as people took to the streets in protest.
Samsung is one of the world’s leading and most widely known brands and largest producers of electronic devices.
The ongoing bribery scandal currently is not the first to hit Samsung. Since its inception, several scandals have hit Samsung, with its leaders caught in ‘corporate contributions’ several times.
Lee Jae -Yong also had his father, Lee Kun-hee, caught in a similar scandal in 1996. The latter and ten other prominent businessmen found themselves on a political scandal to the country’s then-President.
It seems that the long-standing ‘corporate contributions’ to political leadership has been a generational trend maintained by Samsung leadership over the years.
Lee Kun-hee was then sentenced to prison for two years. However, he was again found guilty in 2008, albeit for tax evasion and financial wrongdoings.
Lee Jae-Yong taking over the reins from his father, has been involved in several scandals over the years and apologized for the same.
However, it seems that he may very well have been caught in the net now. His first discretion with the law involved when he was accused of stock price manipulation, breach of trust, and auditing violations related to the merger between Samsung C& T Corp and Chiel Industries in the year 2015.
The prosecutors had then alleged that the merger was done to help Lee Jae-yong increase his control over the company’s primary business – Samsung Electronic.
Lee was in 2017, sentenced to 5 years in prison for offering a bribe of $7milllion to the then President and her confidant to seek help from the government over the merger.
In 2020, Lee had made a public apology for the companies alleged misconduct and the controversial plan that helped him succeed as the heir to Samsung.
He apologized for his miss demeanor and promised that he would end hereditary transfer of control And leadership, promising not to pass the management rights he inherited from his father to his children. He also promised that the company would stop suppressing its employee’s rights to organize unions.
Present Case hearing and sentence
The sentence is in the case of the merger that Lee had orchestrated back in 2015 and the bribery given to the then President in 2017.
Even though Lee’s lawyers have tried to paint a picture of Lee being a victim of presidential power abuse and described the 2015 deal as part of “normal business activity,” it did not bore well for Lee.
Lee’s attorney has not yet specified if there would be an appeal to the sentencing, and neither has Samsung issued an official statement over the ruling.
The recent jail term awarded to Lee, it is not clear as to what it would mean for Samsung.
Samsung has virtually never seen an impact on its business even if the corporate leaders have been awarded jail terms, management and business decisions have still been taken and honored despite the corporate leaders have been behind bars.
Samsung is perhaps one of the few companies that have not been impacted much with the advent of the Covid- 19 pandemics and has witnessed a robust and successful business year.
It has been able to take advantage of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Its strength in parts and finished products enabled it to benefit even during the pandemic.
Samsungs closest rival, Huawei Technologies, faced sanctions by the Trump administration and hindered Huawei’s prospects in smartphones, smartphones chips, and telecommunications equipment.
Huawei’s loss was Samsung’s gain, and it did pretty well under the current circumstances.
After a sluggish year in 2019, Samsung’s semiconductor business has also rebounded sharply, driven by millions of people who were forced to stay at home and rely on PC’s for both their work and individual entertainment.
Samsung has also been one of the busiest when it comes to the release of new phones. It comes out with newer smartphone models at a rate that it becomes difficult to keep track of all the launches.
Its latest in the smartphone world is the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and is a highly anticipated phone to the original Galaxy Fold.
Galaxy Z Flip is Samsung’s second foldable smartphone, which was not launched as part of the Galaxy Fold Series.
The above are some of the highly anticipated smartphones and available through pre-order.
As a brand, Samsung has never let its shine dim because of the mishaps in the hands of its leadership. It has survived all the scandals, the ups, and downs of business remarkably well.
Perhaps one of the few companies in the world that have maintained its brand and sales consistently over the years. It has timely innovated and introduced products that are both reliable and one of the most sought after and value for money.
Samsung has maintained and stressed the need to spend considerably and consistently when it comes to Research and Development and has periodically given us top quality products, user friendly, and value for money in the highly competitive world of electronics.