Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was released from prison on parole on Friday morning. Instead of going home, Lee visited his office in Samsung Electronics’ Seocho building, returning to work immediately after his release.
It is seen as a move that reflects Lee’s willingness to fill the management vacuum as soon as possible since there is a high expectation on him to boost the economy and produce tangible economic results. This is why people in and outside the company predict that decisions on management issues of each affiliate, including investment in semiconductor and electric vehicle battery factories in the U.S. and mergers and acquisitions in new business fields will be made quickly.
Leaving the Seoul Detention Center at around 10:10 a.m. on Friday, Vice Chairman Lee said, “I have caused much concern for the people. I deeply apologize,” adding, “I am listening to the concerns, criticisms, worries, and high expectations for me. I will work hard.” He bowed his head in apology.
About Lee’s release, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said it accepts it as a decision made in the national interest and asked for the people’s understanding. “We are well aware that there are opinions in favor and against the release (of the Samsung vice chairman). Those who are against it are also right in their opinions,” Presidential secretary for public communication Park Soo-hyun said in a briefing on Friday. “There are also many people calling for Lee’s early release, hoping that he would play a role in the semiconductor industry and the COVID-19 vaccines.”
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