Samsung: The Curse of Grandchildren


Lee Jae-yong, 49 years old and grandson of the founder of the electronics group, was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for corruption.

Family legacies, whether professional or political, are still struggling to pass the third generation. These are the three ages of the aristocracy: the age of superiority, that of privilege, and that of vanity. “Out of the first, it degenerates in the second and extinguishes in the last”, already noted Chateaubriand. “The father builds, the son develops and the grandson squishes,” translated the saying. Is this what is happening at Samsung, the most powerful conglomerate in South Korea and probably in Asia? Lee Jae-yong, 49 years old and grandson of the founder, was sentenced on Friday 25 August to five years in prison for corruption by the judiciary of his country.

It is, however, difficult to affirm that the son was unworthy of his father. Never did the band do as well. With nearly $ 10 billion (8.4 billion euros) of profits in the last quarter, the company is even the most profitable in the world in the field of technology, ahead of Apple, thanks to its phones and chips. Lee Kun-hee, the creator of these activities, nailed to his bed since his heart attack in 2014, would find it hard to give moral lessons to his son. He himself has been condemned by the courts for corruption. Then pardoned by the president given his importance to the country. Samsung alone accounts for 23% of the wealth produced each year by Korea.

Some observers say it will be the same today. In the aftermath of his father’s death, the national emotion will lead the government to again demonstrate gentleness. As he always did for the other leaders of the great chaebols of the peninsula, those of Hyundai, SK or Hanwha, also caught the fingers in the jar of jam. Uncompromising fight against corruption But it is not safe. Unlike his predecessors, Lee Jae-yong was actually …


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