According to latest reports from South Korea, the first management changes following the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco are finally happening at Samsung. In just a few hours, the tech giant is holding a shareholders meeting at its Seoul HQ where attendees will vote to appoint Lee Jae-yong, the current Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics as a member of the company's boardroom. The 48-year-old was initially nominated for this position in September, and the Korea Herald reports that the voting is expected to be just a formality, with Lee not even attending the meeting or giving a speech beforehand.
Lee is not only the only son of Samsung's current chairman Lee Kun-hee but also the grandson of Lee Byung-chull, the man who founded what turned out to be the largest conglomerate in South Korea and the biggest manufacturer of semiconductors and phones in the world. Most major investors had already approved Lee's nomination last month, and an official announcement of his appointment is expected by the end of the day. When Lee gets his vote of confidence, he will be handed responsibility for handling all civil and criminal cases related to Samsung.
As for the man himself, he boasts a bachelor's degree in East Asian history and a master's in business administration. Lee started working at Samsung back in 1991 and has so far served as Samsung's VP of Strategic Planning, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Vice Chairman. If he ends up finding his way into Samsung Electronics' boardroom, he will be the first family member to do so since his father left back in 2008. Industry experts are quick to point out that Lee is up for a tough job as Samsung is facing increased pressure over the Galaxy Note 7 issues whose consequences are still on the minds of consumers.
If appointed as a registered board member, Lee is expected to take over the reigns from Lee Sang-hoon, Samsung's Chief Financial Officer who's been serving his second term in the company's boardroom since March. Given his vast business management experience, many are rather optimistic about Lee's possible appointment. While there's little doubt about his qualifications, some industry experts believe Lee will be underutilized as a board member and are calling for him to get more directly involved with the company by taking up an executive position, the Korea Herald reports. In any case, an official announcement of Lee's appointment is expected to follow soon.