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Former family chairman returns to Samsung warning of "real crisis"

Lee Kun Hee (pictured), the second-generation former chairman of family-controlled Samsung Group, will return to the business as chairman of Samsung Electronics after stepping down as in 2008 following a conviction for tax evasion. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
The company announced his return today after it was recommended by the council of presidents. "Samsung needs Mr Lee's leadership and management to maintain its global business leadership under continuing uncertainty in the global economy and rapidly changing global business environment," the statement said.  
The family patriarch accepted his new role, effective immediately, but had some strong words for the company founded by his father. "We are facing a real crisis," he said. "Many global companies are experiencing enormous challenges and uncertainty of the future and Samsung is no exception.
"In 10 years, the majority of businesses and products that represent Samsung may no longer exist. We must have a new start and seize the opportunity. There is no time to hesitate. We must go forward," he said.
Lee's new appointment was made possible after he was officially pardoned for his convictions in December 2009 by the South Korean president. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
December 2009 also saw Lee Kun Hee's son Lee Jae Yong promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Samsung Electrical Group. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
Samsung was founded in 1938 and led by Lee Kun Hee, who joined the family business in 1987, for over 20 years. Today, the Samsung Group has revenues of $90 billion, is the world's largest maker of memory chips and the world's second-largest mobile phone handset maker.


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