SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Shareholders of Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday approved the nomination of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to the electronics giant’s board of directors.
The approval enables the 48-year-old Lee, the only son of the ailing Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, to more actively participate and take formal responsibility in the company’s important decision-making, Samsung said in a statement.
Another Samsung vice chairman, Kwon Oh-hyun, said the approval was met “with applause” as most shareholders voiced their support for Lee’s nomination.
The younger Lee, a Harvard Business School graduate, joined Samsung Electronics in 1991.
As a board member, the younger Lee is facing an uphill battle in restoring the company’s tarnished reputation following the global recall and discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
Earlier in the day, Samsung reported a 30-percent plunge in its third-quarter operating profit, hit by the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over safety concerns.
Kwon said Samsung “will make significant changes in the quality assurance processes in its commitment to providing safe and reliable products and regaining customers’ confidence.”
Hours before the approval of Lee’s nomination, Samsung reported 5.2 trillion won (US$4.6 billion) in its third-quarter operating profit, compared with a profit of 7.3 trillion won a year ago.
Compared with a quarter earlier, Samsung’s operating profit plunged 36.1 percent.
With the younger Lee joining the board, Samsung “will provide the leadership to take Samsung Electronics to the next level of success, helping the company focus on timely investments, business re-organization to enhance core capabilities and creating a more open corporate culture,” the statement said.
Thursday’s approval signals that the succession of control of Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, from the ailing father, who has been hospitalized since 2014 after suffering a heart attack, to the son is expected to speed up.
Besides Samsung Electronics, the conglomerate has about 70 affiliates with their business interests ranging from shipbuilding and construction to life insurance.