Samsung's jailed board chairman quits

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics' <005930.KS> board Chairman Lee Sang-hoon, who was convicted and jailed for sabotaging union activities, has resigned from the South Korean company, it said on Friday.

The resignation comes less than two years after Lee's appointment split the chairman and chief executive roles for the first time in an effort to enhance transparency and independence of the world's top memory chip manufacturer in the wake of a corruption scandal involving group heir Jay Y. Lee.

"Samsung suffered a major setback to its bid to strengthen its board ... and it would need a fresh face to turn around," said Park Ju-gun, head of research firm CEO Score, adding that the move was widely expected given that Lee Sang-hoon is in prison.

Samsung said Lee's successor will be appointed in the near future and could be picked from remaining members of its board, which consists of six external directors and three internal executives. Those include the three CEOs of Samsung's components, mobiles and consumer electronics divisions.

The change at the top comes as Jay Y. Lee faces trial on charges that he bribed a friend of former president Park Geun-hye to win government favor over succession planning at the conglomerate.

Criticized by a judge overseeing Lee's bribery case for its lack of an effective compliance system, Samsung and some of its key affiliates have recently appointed external experts to a new oversight panel to stamp out criminal conduct.

Lee Sang-hoon was given a 1-1/2 year jail sentence in December for sabotaging legitimate union activities. He has appealed against the decision.

Samsung's board chairman is not involved in day-to-day business operations but chairs a board meeting to review and approve major business decisions including investment plans.

The company is expected to hold a shareholder meeting in March.


(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Joyce Lee; Editing by Miyoung Kim and David Goodman)

  • China races to contain job losses as coronavirus batters economy
    Finance
    Reuters

    China races to contain job losses as coronavirus batters economy

    When cameraman Mark Xia returned to his job this month after holidays, the Shanghai video production house where he worked told him to take three months of leave with no pay, as a coronavirus epidemic takes a toll of China's businesses. Now Xia is looking for a part-time job after the company, with

  • Iran supreme leader says voting is 'religious duty'
    News
    AFP News

    Iran supreme leader says voting is 'religious duty'

    Iran's supreme leader said Tuesday it is a "religious duty" for people to vote in this week's general election and strengthen the Islamic republic against the "propaganda" of its enemies. "Participating in elections and voting... is a religious duty, not just a national

  • Exclusive: Samsung wins 5-nanometer modem chip contract from Qualcomm - sources
    Finance

    Exclusive: Samsung wins 5-nanometer modem chip contract from Qualcomm - sources

    SAN FRANCISCO/SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's semiconductor manufacturing division has won a contract to make new Qualcomm Inc 5G chips using its most advanced chip-making technology, two sources familiar with the matter said, boosting the Korean firm's efforts to gain market

  • New Qualcomm chips aim to connect phones to disparate 5G networks
    Finance
    Reuters

    New Qualcomm chips aim to connect phones to disparate 5G networks

    Qualcomm is the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone chips. The San Diego, California-based company said its new X60 modem chip, along with a new antenna chip, will be the first to aggregate signals sent over the disparate frequencies used in the two variants of 5G networks, a feature the company

  • 20 years after dot-com peak, tech dominance keeps investors on edge
    Finance
    Reuters

    20 years after dot-com peak, tech dominance keeps investors on edge

    SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Wall Street approaches the 20th anniversary of the piercing of the dot-com bubble, today's decade-old rally led by a few small players shows some similarities that cautious investors are keeping an eye on. March 11, 2000 marked the beginning of a crash of overly-inflated

  • 'North Macedonia, Albania will deliver,' EU enlargement chief says
    News
    Reuters

    'North Macedonia, Albania will deliver,' EU enlargement chief says

    North Macedonia and Albania can deliver on the reforms required to join the European Union, the EU enlargement commissioner said on Tuesday, in the latest sign that the Balkan neighbours are set to overcome France's freeze on their aspirations. French President Emmanuel Macon, who blocked the opening

  • Palestinians channel protests through dawn prayers
    News
    Reuters

    Palestinians channel protests through dawn prayers

    Before sunrise, thousands of Palestinians streamed towards the mosque in Nablus's Victory Square, swelling the usual crowds of morning worshippers to launch a new front in their protests against Israel and the United States. The scene has been repeated elsewhere in the West Bank, where people have

  • WHO urges calm as China virus death toll nears 1,900
    News
    AFP News

    WHO urges calm as China virus death toll nears 1,900

    The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak rose again on Tuesday but Chinese and international health officials sought to calm global nerves, citing a study showing most cases are mild and warning against excessive measures to contain the epidemic. Nearly 1,900 people have now died and more than

  • Philippine workers allowed to travel to Hong Kong, Macau amid virus fear
    News
    Reuters

    Philippine workers allowed to travel to Hong Kong, Macau amid virus fear

    The Philippines on Tuesday allowed Filipino workers to travel to Hong Kong and Macau, relaxing the travel ban it imposed on China and its special administrative regions to control the spread of the coronavirus. The Philippines announced its decision before Hong Kong reported that a Filipina domestic

  • Hero worship: India's Trump superfans gear up for his arrival
    News
    Reuters

    Hero worship: India's Trump superfans gear up for his arrival

    KONNEY/NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) - Bussa Krishna first began worshipping Donald Trump four years ago when the U.S. president appeared to him a dream. Since then, after a run of good fortune, the Indian real estate broker has transformed his modest home into a shrine to the U.S. leader, who is due in

  • Bushfire crisis hit 75% of Australians: survey
    News
    AFP Relax

    Bushfire crisis hit 75% of Australians: survey

    Three in four Australians -- almost 18 million people -- were affected by the country's deadly bushfire crisis, according to a survey released Tuesday that also pointed to plummeting support for the government and for coal projects. The Australian National University study showed the vast human

  • Jailed Wikileaks founder Assange's health improving - spokesman
    News
    Reuters

    Jailed Wikileaks founder Assange's health improving - spokesman

    Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is no longer being kept in solitary confinement and his health is improving, his spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters on Tuesday. Assange, 48, is in Belmarsh high-security prison in London, fighting an extradition request from the United States where he

  • Congo's irksome 'sheep-jumps' jam traffic, confound president
    News
    Reuters

    Congo's irksome 'sheep-jumps' jam traffic, confound president

    Stuck in traffic in a fume-filled taxi with a cracked windscreen, Peter Likiel says his four-mile daily commute has doubled to three hours since construction began on one of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi's signature new overpasses. The president had envisioned a series of sleek roadways above

  • Explainer - Nevada caucuses present new test to Democrats after chaotic Iowa contest
    News
    Reuters

    Explainer - Nevada caucuses present new test to Democrats after chaotic Iowa contest

    Nevada Democrats will host hundreds of caucuses on Saturday, the third contest in the state-by-state presidential nominating process, almost three weeks after the Iowa caucuses caused mayhem when a technical meltdown delayed results. After the contests in the states of Iowa and New Hampshire, where

  • Democratic White House candidates face high-pressure Nevada debate
    News
    Reuters

    Democratic White House candidates face high-pressure Nevada debate

    The caucuses in Nevada on Saturday will be the third contest in the campaign to find a Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. The first two produced a split verdict, with Pete Buttigieg edging Bernie Sanders in Iowa and Sanders narrowly beating Buttigieg in New Hampshire

  • A nervous wait at Louisiana abortion clinic at center of U.S. Supreme Court fight
    News
    Reuters

    A nervous wait at Louisiana abortion clinic at center of U.S. Supreme Court fight

    A 27-year-old woman from southern Arkansas waited nervously at the Hope Medical Group for Women after traveling two hours for a medical procedure that is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain in certain parts of the United States: an abortion. Four weeks pregnant, the woman felt she had no option

  • Thousands protest in Greece against pension overhaul
    News
    AFP News

    Thousands protest in Greece against pension overhaul

    Thousands protested in Greece on Tuesday against a new pension reform as a 24-hour strike paralysed transport and services. The labour action brought public transport in Athens, intercity trains and ferry ship services to a standstill. Civil servants also walked off the job and journalists will stage

  • Taiwan to evacuate citizens from virus-stricken cruiseship in Japan
    News
    Reuters

    Taiwan to evacuate citizens from virus-stricken cruiseship in Japan

    Taiwan said on Tuesday it would charter a plane to evacuate its citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise liner quarantined off the Japanese port of Yokohama due to a coronavirus outbreak. Four Taiwanese nationals on the ship have tested positive for the virus, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters

  • Russian activist under investigation over France sex-video scandal
    News
    AFP News

    Russian activist under investigation over France sex-video scandal

    French prosecutors on Tuesday placed a Russian artist and his girlfriend under official investigation over the leaking of a sex video that brought down a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron. Pyotr Pavlensky and Alexandra de Taddeo are facing charges of invasion of privacy and publishing images of

  • Turkish mother fights to free cadet son from life sentence
    News
    AFP News

    Turkish mother fights to free cadet son from life sentence

    Wearing a colourful headscarf and long coat to guard against a bitter Ankara frost, Turkish mother Melek Cetinkaya would not usually catch the attention of the police. Cetinkaya is undeterred because she is fighting for her son, an air force cadet who was just 19 years old when he was jailed for participating

  • Smog veils Central Asia cities as smoky stoves choke locals
    News
    AFP News

    Smog veils Central Asia cities as smoky stoves choke locals

    Snow-capped peaks used to be clearly visible from the streets of Almaty and Bishkek, two of the largest cities in Central Asia that both lie in plains surrounded by mountains. In the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, a city of one million, and Kazakhstan's second city of Almaty, which is twice as large

  • Russia to consider making ex-presidents immune from prosecution - RIA
    News
    Reuters

    Russia to consider making ex-presidents immune from prosecution - RIA

    Russian presidents could be made immune from criminal prosecution once they leave office under proposed constitutional reforms, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday. The proposal, made by a parliamentary working group, comes after President Vladimir Putin last month announced sweeping reforms to the political

  • Singapore announces $4.6 bn boost to fight virus
    News

    Singapore announces $4.6 bn boost to fight virus

    Singapore unveiled US$4.6 billion in financial packages on Tuesday to deal with the impact of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has battered the city-state's economy and sparked fears of a recession. The financial hub has reported 77 cases of the virus, one of the highest figures outside mainland

  • Syria presses assault amid fears over mass displacement
    News
    AFP News

    Syria presses assault amid fears over mass displacement

    Syrian troops pressed an offensive Tuesday on the country's last major rebel enclave where the mass displacement of civilians is sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe. Children have died of exposure in snow-covered camps and the United Nations has warned that the crisis could worsen if no

  • Bloomberg qualifies for next debate after poll boost
    News
    Reuters

    Bloomberg qualifies for next debate after poll boost

    The debate on Wednesday will be the ninth in the contest for who will challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. A late entry to the race, Bloomberg, 78, has risen in public opinion polls as he pours money from his estimated $60 billion personal fortune into a national campaign