Samsung's vice-chairperson faced the shareholders of the company Friday at the annual shareholders meeting in Seoul, South Korea. In the shareholders meeting, Kwon Oh-Hyun apologized to the shareholders for the controversies the conglomerate has been involved in. These include the corruption scandal involving the impeached South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
Samsung got involved in the corruption scandal involving former president Park after the investigation by prosecutors revealed that some of Samsung officials bribed Park. The company allegedly paid bribes amounting to $37 million to Choi Soon-Sil, a close associate of the former president in exchange of convincing the National Pension Service, a major shareholder of Cheil Industries, to approve the merger with Samsung C&T in 2015. Further investigation in the matter resulted in the imprisonment of Jay Y. Lee, the Samsung heir-apparent. Aside from bribery, Samsung's Lee is also facing perjury and embezzlement in Seoul's Central District Court. Kwon, despite the apology, stated that Samsung did not do anything illegal and the donations made to the foundations were legal and were executed under the normal procedures.
Kwon also apologized for the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. The Galaxy Note 7 was recalled twice in the previous year due to the phone explosions while charging. Further investigation revealed two major problems with the construction of the battery. Samsung had two suppliers for the Galaxy Note 7 batteries, Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Limited. Batteries from both of the suppliers had problems of their own. A battery from Samsung SDI had failed due to damage to the negative electrode windings which resulted from the lack of room for the electrode assembly in the cell-pouch design. The battery from the second supplier had a tendency for the separator between the positive and negative electrodes to short-circuit. These battery problems resulted to a $6 billion loss to Samsung Electronics due to the recall, lawsuits and settlements, and costs of investigation. Samsung had then resorted to selling its older flagship, Galaxy S7 in place of the Galaxy Note 7. The debacle also resulted to new battery testing guidelines for Samsung for newer phones to be released in the following fiscal year.