Samsung chairman says son to be promoted

Samsung Electronics Co. is the flagship corporation of the Samsung Group conglomerate, which consists of dozens of other businesses including shipbuilding, construction, leisure and finance.

Chairman Lee Kun-hee, 68, has steered Samsung into a major force in the world electronics industry, where it holds the No. 1 positions in memory chips and flat screen televisions and ranks No. 2 in mobile phones.

Attention has long been focused on an eventual power transfer at family controlled Samsung, which is a source of pride among South Koreans for its technological prowess as well as controversy for its scrapes with the law.

Lee Kun-hee, returning from the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, answered affirmatively to a question from reporters about whether his son, Lee Jae-yong, would be promoted from executive vice president, said Samsung spokeswoman Lee Soo-jeong.

Some media reports said the younger Lee would be made president, but the Samsung spokeswoman said that Lee Kun-hee did not specify any position.

Lee Jae-yong, 42, also holds the position of chief operating officer at Samsung. He was promoted to his posts in December last year and has previously served as chief customer officer and vice president for strategic planning.

Samsung's current president and CEO is Choi Gee-sung. The company's management structure includes some positions that also come with the title of president.

Lee Kun-hee stepped down as chairman of Samsung Electronics in April 2008 upon indictment for tax evasion. He was later convicted, though pardoned by South Korea's president in December 2009. He returned to lead the company in March this year.

The Samsung conglomerate was founded by Lee's father, the late Lee Byung-chull.

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