Samsung President Lee Kin hee died Sunday in Seoul, South Korea, at the age of 78. The South Korean business tycoon, who built Samsung into a global giant in smartphones, television and computer chips, was twice convicted and twice pardoned for white-collar crime in the process.
Samsung has officially announced the death of Li Jianxi, but did not disclose the specific reason. Li Jianxi has been unable to exercise normally since his heart attack in 2014.
Lee's experience shows that South Korea's chaebols tend to adopt many questionable ways to maintain their influence. Chaebol is the main source of South Korea's economic vitality, so many Koreans suspect that chaebol can even threaten the whole country.
In 1996, Lee was convicted of bribing the South Korean President and was later pardoned. More than a decade later, he was convicted of tax evasion, but was sentenced to a suspended sentence so that he could continue his lobbying activities to win the hosting qualification of the 2018 Winter Olympics for Pingchang, a mountain town.
Shortly after the end of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Lee Myung Bak, who served as South Korea's president from 2008 to 2013, was sentenced to 15 years for bribery. He took a $5.4 million bribe from Samsung in exchange for a pardon for Lee.
Li Jianxi was born on January 9, 1942 in Daegu, South Korea, which was occupied by Japan at that time. His father, Li Bingzhe, founded Samsung a few years ago, specializing in the export of fruits and dried fish. Li was a wrestler in high school.
Samsung first developed by controlling consumer necessities such as sugar and textiles in war-torn South Korea, and later expanded its business to insurance, shipbuilding, construction, semiconductors, and so on. Lee graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo in 1965 and went to George Washington University for a master's degree, but did not get a degree.
In 1966, he began his career at Toyo Broadcasting, then owned by Samsung. He used to C Samsung, a Samsung construction and trading company
When he was president in 1987, he continued his father's foresight. Although the development environment at that time was still favorable, he always harbored a survival crisis. Today, this is still an important concept of Samsung.
"We are in a very important transitional period." "If we don't enter capital and technology intensive industries, our survival will be threatened," Li told Forbes
When he called dozens of Samsung Electronics executives to a luxury hotel in Frankfurt in 1993, his radical transition was no doubt. At that time, he trained executives day after day to push them to abandon old work and thinking styles. "Everything has to change except for the wife and the child," he said
He ordered Samsung to focus on improving product quality rather than blindly expanding market share. This requires the recruitment of overseas talents, and also requires senior managers to fully understand the foreign markets and be familiar with the competition mode in these markets.
At that time, this was not acceptable in the Korean business community.
What happened next became legendary. Two thousand workers at the turtle-tail factory gathered in the yard, wearing "quality first" headbands, according to Tony Michel (Tony Michell), who wrote "Samsung Electronics and Electronics Industry leadership Competition "(Samsung Electronics and the Struggle for Leadership of the Electronics Industry) in 2010. Lee and the directors sat under the slogan "quality is my pride.
They watched $50 million worth of telephones, fax machines and other inventory smashed and burned on the spot. The employees shed tears.
Mr Lee's business record is not perfect. Believing that electronics would be an integral part of the car, he founded the automotive division in the mid-1990s, but eventually sold the business in 2000.
Samsung's partnership with Hollywood is equally short-lived. Big director Stephen Spielberg (Steven Spielberg) proposed Lee to invest in a film studio at dinner in 1995. Despite being a movie fan, Lee and other Samsung executives eventually turned the subject back to the chip.
"I thought," how can they learn about the film business when they're so obsessed with semiconductors? " "That night was a total waste of time," Spielberg later recalled
Samsung entered the stage of dominating the world in the 2000s. It used gorgeous equipment and fashionable marketing to firmly implant its brand into the minds of Western consumers. However, Li Jianxi rarely appeared in public. He likes collecting sports cars and art.
By 2007, he identified the next imminent crisis for Samsung. China has an advantage in low-end manufacturing, while Japan and the West are still in the lead in advanced technology, while South Korean companies, including Samsung, are suffering.
But when he began to reform Samsung, he faced billions of dollars in tax evasion charges. He didn't fight for it, but announced his resignation on live TV, which shocked the whole country.
He was pardoned the following year and became president of Samsung again in 2010.
After a heart attack in 2014, his son and vice president of Samsung Electronics, Lee Jae Rong, became the company's de facto spokesman.