Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong/Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

1. Wealth: $6.1 billion (Forbes, 2019)

2. Date of birth: June 23, 1968

Lee Jae-yong is the grandson of Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chull and the only son of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

3. Company & title: Samsung Electronics/Vice Chairman

Lee is a de-facto leader of Samsung Group of which major affiliates are Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, Samsung Life Insurance, and Samsung BioLogics to name but a few.

He got aboard Samsung in 1991 and was named vice chairman in 2012. After his father collapsed in 2014, he has been heading the country’s largest conglomerate.

4. Educational backgrounds: Harvard Business School, Keio University, Seoul National University

Lee studied in Korea, Japan, and the United States. For some reason, he failed to get a doctorate at Harvard.

5. Marital status: Divorced (former wife: Lim Se-ryung, heiress of Daesang Group)

Lee tied the knot with Daesang Group heiress Lim Se-ryung in 1998 to have a son and a daughter. In early 2009, Lim filed for divorce and eventually, both separated by mutual agreement.

After her divorce, she caught headlines by dating Lee Jung-jae, an award-winning actor and fashion model.

6. Relatives:

Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull: Grandfather

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee: Father

Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin: Sister

Samsung C&T President Lee Seo-hyun: Sister

CJ Group Chairman Lee Jae-hyun: Cousin

Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin: Cousin

7. Criminal records: Once

Time served in prison: 12 months (February 17, 2017 ~ February 5, 2018)

In 2017, Lee was jailed on charges of offering bribes to former President Park Geun-hye and her aide Choi Soon-sil in return for their help in beefing up his control over Samsung.

Later in the year, a Seoul district court sentenced the tycoon to five years in prison, He was released in early 2018 when an appellate court halved his sentence and suspended it.

As the Supreme court overturned the appeals court’s verdict in 2019, the appeals court will come up with a new verdict on the case. He runs the risks of returning to prison.

8. Related articles:

Verdict on Samsung chief due

Ups and downs of Daesang heiress


The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.