Samsung heir skips shareholders’ meeting

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Seoul, March 23 (IANS) Samsung Electronics on Friday held a shareholders’ meeting in Seoul in which Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent of the conglomerate, did not participate.

Attended by about 400 individual shareholders and institutional investors, the meeting touched issues surrounding the company, Yonhap news agency reported.

It was the first shareholders’ meeting held by the tech giant since Lee was released from prison last month after being embroiled in a political scandal that led to impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

“Samsung Electronics had an outstanding year in 2017 as we achieved record results despite an uncertain business environment,” Oh-Hyun Kwon, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said in his opening remarks.

“In 2018, we are committed to delivering another successful year by taking on new challenges and building the foundation for mid- to long-term sustainable growth,” Kwon added.

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Kwon noted that Samsung Electronics posted a record-high operating profit of $49.6 billion last year, vowing to continue confronting new challenges down the road.

Kwon also said Samsung will focus on increasing dividends throughout 2020 to share the company’s robust earnings with shareholders.

“This year, the expansion of protectionism and geopolitical risks will remain as major uncertainties for the company’s business environment, and the shift in the paradigm of the IT industry calls for the company to tackle challenges,” Kwon said, adding that Samsung will prepare thoroughly and expand communication with shareholders.

During the meeting, the planned 50-to-one stock split was approved by the shareholders.

Trade of Samsung Electronics’ shares will be suspended for a three-day period at end-April and early-May, although details may change.

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President and former Chief Financial Officer Lee Sang-hoon was elected to the Board and will take the role of Board Chairman, succeeding Chairman Kwon.

“This will mark the first time Samsung Electronics will separate the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer roles,” Samsung said.

The heads of the three divisions, namely Kim Ki-nam of device solutions, Kim Hyun-suk of consumer electronics, and Koh Dong-jin of IT & mobile communications, were also named to the board.

–IANS

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