Monday, July 10, 2017

Samsung chief becomes 45th richest person in the world

Lee Kun-Hee, Samsung Group’s chairman, reportedly became the 45th richest person in the world after the company posted impressive earnings estimates last week. The South Korean electronics giant is expected to post an operating revenue higher than Apple’s for the first time.

According to Bloomberg, Lee is valued at $18.5 billion, which is an increase of 44 percent this year alone. Lee owns $12.6 billion worth of shares in Samsung Electronics and a sizeable amount in Samsung C&T as well as Samsung Life Insurance. He was hospitalized since May 2014 after he suffered a heart attack. Lee was placed at the 68th position in the list of world’s richest persons in March 2017. Samsung is South Korea’s largest family run business (also known as chaebol).

Samsung’s earnings saw a peak last quarter, thanks to its strong performance in smartphone, display panel, and semiconductor segments. After the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco last year, the company started diversifying as it didn’t want to depend on the smartphone business alone. Lee’s only son and heir-apparent Jae-Yong (worth $7,2 billion) is ranked 199th, up from 239th place in the previous Forbes list. However, he’s undergoing a trial on corruption charges involving former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

Jae-Yong is the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and has been running the company since his father was hospitalized. The father and son duo are ranked first and second wealthiest people in South Korea. Bill Gates is the wealthiest man in the world with a valuation of $89.4 billion, followed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who is valued at $83.9 billion.