[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong skipped the first board meeting of the tech giant this year on Feb. 23, an apparent move to keep a low profile before the appellate trial at the Supreme Court over his bribery charges.
“Lee did not take part in the board meeting held in the morning as returning to management before the trial is over could be seen as being inappropriate,” an industry source said.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
Lee, who was behind bars from February 2017 for bribery and embezzlement charges, was freed from jail as the appeals court handed down a suspended prison sentence earlier this month. Samsung and its de facto leader were suspected to have bribed former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil in returns for favors in a merger deal between Samsung Group’s affiliates, which was considered crucial to the inheritance process for the Lee family at the conglomerate.
The Supreme Court trial over Lee’s case is expected to take place in the first half of this year.
At the board meeting, Kim Jeng-hoon, chairman of New Jersey-based video platform firm Kiswe Mobile, Kim Sun-wook, former Ewha Womans University president, and Park Byung-guk, Seoul National University professor, were appointed as new outside directors.
When the recommendations are approved at the shareholders meeting scheduled on March 25, the appointees will replace the outgoing outside directors former Yonsei University President Kim Han-joong and Lee Byung-ki, professor at Seoul National University.
Lee Sang-hoon, who left the CFO post of Samsung late last year, was appointed as the board chairman while Samsung CEOs Kim Ki-nam, Kim Hyun-seok and Koh Dong-jin were named inside directors.