[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, who is known as “Samsung’s No. 2 man,” has allegedly offered to resign to take responsibility for the nation’s largest conglomerate’s involvement in the corruption scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye, industry sources said on Feb. 24.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (left) and Choi Gee-sung, then CEO of the tech giant, attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2011. Choi has played the role of mentor to the Samsung heir.
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Together with Choi who has been leading the Future Strategy Office, the group's de facto control tower, President Chang Choong-ki at the team also offered to resign, sources said.
Their resignations are likely to be announced next month when Samsung unveils a set of reform plans, including the dissolution of the control tower office.
The departure of the two senior executives comes after the arrest of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong last week on bribery charges. The Samsung heir is suspected of ordering his aides to offer financial support, worth 43 billion won (US$36.30 million), to President Park’s confidante Choi Soon-sil in return for business favors in the process of the group’s pending leadership transfer to a new generation.
The third-generation Lee is the first Samsung chief to be detained.
Choi, former Samsung Electronics CEO, has been leading the control tower office since 2012. He has played the role of mentor to the heir.
Some 200 executives and employees are working at the Future Strategy Office. Most of them are expected to be relocated to the affiliates they previously worked at before.
Samsung is likely to announce the reform plans after the special prosecutors’ probe ends on Feb. 28, sources said.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com)