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Time for more daring challenges, says Samsung’s new chairman Lee Jae-yong

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Samsung Electronics new chairman Lee Jae-yong on Thursday called on employees to take up challenges and focus more on technology development.



“Now is the time for us to take on more daring challenges. Our survival depends on future technologies,” he said in a post on the company’s internal forum shortly after being promoted to chairman of the tech giant, the crown jewel of the group.

“We can turn this crisis into an opportunity…I will be at the forefront” of the campaign to make Samsung a bigger company “beloved” by consumers around the world, Lee said.

His promotion was ratified at a board meeting earlier in the day, the company said, given “an urgent need for stable management and leadership amid the deteriorating global business environment,” Yonhap news agency reported.

Lee joined the technology company in 1991 and was promoted to vice chairman in 2012.

His deceased father Lee Kun-hee was chairman of Samsung Electronics until he died two years ago and the position has been vacant ever since.

The promotion was widely anticipated among industry observers after he received a presidential pardon in August for his conviction in a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye.

The new title will put Lee’s leadership to the test at a time when the tech giant has struggled to cope with mounting challenges from macroeconomic problems and slowing businesses.

Samsung Electronics reported a sharp decline in third-quarter profits earlier in the day as semiconductor business slowed significantly after the pandemic-driven boom that has boosted chipmakers’ crest and profits in recent years.

The coming months and well into the next year will see a difficult road ahead for the tech giant amid growing economic uncertainties and fears of a recession.

Beyond the challenges, Lee’s legal battle is not over. He is currently on trial for the 2015 merger of two Samsung subsidiaries and alleged accounting fraud at the pharmaceutical unit Samsung Biologics.

The merger and fraud are widely seen as important steps to strengthen its grip on the group.

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