Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, head of South Korea’s largest conglomerate, dies on the age of 78

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lee Kun-Hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives at Gimpo Airport in Seoul after visiting several European countries and Japan

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SEOUL (Reuters) – Lee Kun-hee, charismatic head of Samsung (KS 🙂 Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, died on Sunday, six months after being hospitalized for a heart attack.

78-year-old Lee helped grow his father Lee Byung-chull’s noodle trading business into a powerhouse. Dozens of subsidiaries ranged from electronics and insurance to shipbuilding and construction.

He died with his family by his side, including his son Samsung Electronics (OTC :), vice chairman Jay Y. Lee, the conglomerate said.

Lee is the youngest leader of the second generation of a South Korean family-controlled conglomerate who is dying, leaving difficult succession problems for the third generation.

“Chairman Lee was a true visionary who turned Samsung from a local company to the world’s leading innovator and industrial powerhouse. His 1993 statement of ‘New Management’ was the driving force behind the company’s vision of delivering the best technology, to advance global society, “Samsung said in a statement.

During his lifetime, Samsung Electronics developed from a secondary TV manufacturer to the world’s top-selling technology company – with a focus on Japanese brands Sony (NYSE :), Sharp (OTC 🙂 Corp, and Panasonic (OTC 🙂 Corp in chips, televisions, and displays; End Nokia Oyj (HE 🙂 supremacy and beat Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 in smartphones.

“His legacy will last forever,” said Samsung.

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