[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Group Vice Chairman and de facto leader Lee Jae-yong has emphasized taking a long-term approach to address a range of fundamental problems facing the conglomerate.
The vice chairman, who overlooks more than 60 affiliates and subsidiaries, told top brass at a recent meeting that Samsung needs to focus on rooting out problems instead of resorting to stopgap measures, according to Korea Economic Daily on April 23.
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“Samsung has to take a long-term perspective in handling management issues, and we should not be swayed by court decisions or public opinion,” Lee said during a recent meeting with the top executives of group affiliates.
His comments hint that the conglomerate will try to actively resolve controversies it is embroiled in.
Korea’s largest conglomerate has been entangled in a number of issues, including one regarding former workers who contracted life-threatening diseases, like leukemia and cancer, after working at its chip plants. The firm’s so-called “no union” principle, which bars workers from taking collective action, and the complex cross-shareholding structure, which lets the Lee family own affiliates, including tech giant Samsung Electronics, with a fraction of stocks, have long faced criticism from civil activists and the public.
Samsung Electronics recently announced it would allow workers to form a labor union at Samsung Electronics Service, a warranty service affiliate of the tech firm, and hire 8,000 workers of its subcontractor as regular employees in a bid to offer them benefits that are only available for full-time employees.
The vice chairman was released in February after serving around a year in prison for his alleged involvement in the corruption scandal surrounding former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil. After his release, he took a business trip to multiple nations, including Japan and Canada, to meet business partners in the regions.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)