Samsung chairman’s daughter promoted in management reshuffle

Seo-Hyun Lee, the daughter of Samsung chairman Kun-Hee Lee and granddaughter of founder Byung-Chull Lee, has been promoted to the status of divisional president as part of a major end-of-year corporate reshuffle at the South Korean conglomerate.

According to Electronic Times Korea, five out of the eight people promoted to chief executive throughout the group as part of the reshuffle came from Samsung Electronics, with 16 staff in total promoted to the conglomerate’s executive committee.

Samsung chief communications officer Inyong Rhee told the Korea Times it is designed to promote a meritocratic culture within the conglomerate.

“Among Samsung affiliates, Samsung Electronics was the only one that has achieved remarkable corporate growth,” the executive Rhee said.

“If you show performance beating our expectations, then we promote. This is the core factor that has been maintained for so long. We’ve applied the formula this year, as well.”

The promotions come ahead of an expected restructure of Samsung Electronics, Electronic Times Korea reports, that will see a consolidation of its consumer electronics and its IT and mobile businesses.

However, the most high-profile promotion, both ZD News Korea and the Korea Times report, has been the promotion of Seo-Hyun Lee to the level of president.

For the past three years, Seo-Hyun Lee has served as the vice president of Samsung-owned textile manufacturing firm and fashion label Cheil.

Cheil, in turn, was recently moved under the control of a holding company called Samsung Everland, which operates the company’s amusement parks, as part of a deal that, in turn, saw the theme park operator spin-off its food division.

Seo-Hyun Lee will become president of the consolidated Samsung Everland division, with Samsung Electronics vice president Namseong Cho taking over as chief executive.

“Seo-Hyun has been consistent in proving her skills in areas that she has been involved in. As an expert in the fashion industry, Lee helped expand Samsung’s fashion business,” Rhee says.

“We have no doubt that she will put more creativity into [the] Cheil fashion business, which was recently transferred to Everland.”

The move is seen as significant, as Lee was the only one of the chairman’s three children to be promoted as part of the reshuffle.

Seo-Hyun Lee’s brother Jay-yong Lee is currently a vice-chairman of the company while sister Boo-jin Lee continues to head the conglomerate’s hotel business.

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