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Samsung heir set to step down from Boao Forum's board

2018/01/03 10:28

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SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is expected to step down from the board of the Boao Forum by not extending his term, which ends in April, industry watchers said Wednesday.

Lee has been behind bars since February amid allegations that he took part in a major political scandal that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye last year. A local court sentenced him to five years in jail in August after being convicted of bribery, embezzlement and other charges.

"Lee's term is expected to end in April," a business official said, saying it will be difficult for Lee to continue his role as a member behind bars.

Lee was named as a board member of the regional forum in 2013, succeeding SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won.

The Boao Forum, held every April, aims to expand cooperation among countries and businesses in Asia.

Industry watchers said Samsung's global strategies are facing hurdles due to the absence of major leaders. Lee's father, Lee Kun-hee, also has been hospitalized since 2014 after suffering a heart attack, and is currently unable to participate in the group's management.

The older Lee also stepped down from his membership on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in August. He had been an IOC member since 1996.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., enters the Seoul High Court in this file photo taken Nov. 29, 2017. (Yonhap) Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., enters the Seoul High Court in this file photo taken Nov. 29, 2017. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr

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