] With Samsung Electronics
Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong behind bars on bribery charges, there is growing speculation that his sister Lee Boo-jin, popularly known as “Little Lee Kun-hee,” may step in to fill the leadership vacuum at the conglomerate.
|Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald|
Although Samsung officials emphasized that the absence of the heir apparent will not lead to any fundamental changes in leadership, concerns are growing as Chairman Lee Kun-hee is also in hospital. Industry watchers speculate that it will not be long before Boo-jin starts managing affairs at the tech giant.
Reflecting the heightening expectations, shares of Hotel Shilla
, of which she is the CEO, have been rallying throughout this week, rising sharply from around 42,000 won to the opening price of 49,850 won (US$43.60) on Feb. 17, while the rest of groups affiliates’ stocks have been sliding down.
Boo-jin has been running the hotel and duty-free business since December 2010. The 47-year-old has kept a relatively low profile and almost exclusively kept to the hospitality and duty-free businesses. She has been credited for the revival of the hotel sector and build-up of the duty-free business, bringing in international luxury brands and even joining hands with rival Hyundai to win the much coveted downtown duty-free store.
Incidentally, during the presidential corruption scandal probe, former executive at the Korea Equestrian Federation Park Won-oh reportedly said that Boo-jin was the favorite of her mother Hong Ra-hee, director of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.
By Hwang You-mee (firstname.lastname@example.org