Seoul, South Korea — Samsung Electronics’ powerful chairman and driving force Lee Kun-hee, 72, was reportedly in stable condition Monday after suffering a heart attack Saturday.
Lee reportedly had trouble breathing late Saturday and was sent to a Samsung Medical Center emergency room near his home, where he was resuscitated after showing symptoms of cardiac arrest.
Lee took over control of Samsung Electronics in 1987 and in 1993 led a major initiative to transform the one-time copycat manufacturer into a technology innovator. Samsung Electronics today is one of the top brands in the world for most the categories in which it competes. It is also a large part of a wide range of companies, including financial institutions and hotel chains that make up a large conglomerate controlled by the Lee family.
Samsung Electronics’ broad portfolio of products includes semiconductors, mobile devices, display panels, television sets and household appliances.
Lee, who has been treated for lung cancer in the 1990s and was treated for pneumonia last August, was said to be less involved in day-to-day operations at Samsung today, having turned offer much of the control to three co-chief executives.
His son Jay Y. Lee, was named vice chairman, and is expected to be next in line to take control of South Korea’s largest company.