There are many words in the market referring to Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.
The CEO who wrote the most dramatic success story over the centuries, an entrepreneur who produced 20 kinds of global No. 1 products in the shortest time, Shin Shin Young-in who awakened the sleeping Korean economy, and a talent cultivator who shouted that people are everything.
Or, a reclusive emperor who was thoroughly lonely and enjoyed being alone, a capitalist who took ununion management as its iron rule, an eternal successor who struggled all his life to escape the shadow of a founder, and an exotic boy who dreamed of becoming a film director with rich emotions.
Chairman Lee Kun-hee was born on January 9, 1942 in Daegu, as the seventh and youngest son of three sons and five daughters of Samsung Group founder Hoam Lee Byung-cheol and Park Do-eul.
It was the time when Hoam ran the Samsung Commercial Association, a fruit and vegetable and dried fish trading company near Seomun Market in Daegu.
Young Kun-hee was sent to Uiryeong, Gyeongnam, and was raised by her grandmother.
After being liberated in 1945, I was able to meet my mother and brother.
The older brothers are Maeng-hee, who served as Chairman of Cheil Fertilizer, and Chang-hee, who became the deceased, and In-hee (Hansol Group advisor), Suk-hee, Soon-hee, and Deok-hee as older sisters.
Myeong-hee, the chairman of Shinsegae Group, is the only younger brother (sister).
I spent my childhood following a businessman, Ho-am.
I attended Hyehwa Elementary School in Tokyo in 1947, led by my father, who spent my childhood in Daegu and started expanding business.
When sugar was precious, CheilJedang's youngest son, Kun-hee, said he had no friends his age.
In 1953, when I was in the fifth grade of Busan Normal Elementary School, I went to Tokyo, Japan, under the strict command of my father to learn advanced countries.
It is said that since elementary school, the passion for scientific research has been great.
Hwiho, who I have used all my life, was'Infinite Search.
If anything is caught in your hand, you have to open it and dissect it to loosen its straightness.
It is said that interest in machinery also arose at that time.
At that time, my first brother was attending the University of Tokyo University of Agriculture, and the second was attending Waseda University. Young Kun-hee stayed with his second brother.
However, as the age difference was nine years old, he had to feel a lot of loneliness and had a lot of time to think alone.
Because of my loneliness, I raised dogs, but dog-raising became a hobby, and in 1979 I even exhibited a pair of purebred Jindo dogs at the World Dog Breeding Exhibition in Japan.
It is said that he has raised up to 150 dogs in search of obedience.
He is known to have watched more than 1,200 films over three years studying in Japan because he was immersed in movies.
After three years of studying abroad in Japan, I transferred to Seoul National University Affiliated Middle School and attended Seoul National University Affiliated High School.
When I was in high school, I entered the wrestling club, and when I was in my second year, I went to the national competition and won a prize.
While studying at Waseda University in Japan, there is an anecdote of meeting Yeok Do-san, a Korean-based professional wrestler who was called a legend at the time.
I also jumped into rugby.
In his own essay “Let's think about it and see the world” (published in 1997), Chairman Lee said, “Once you start rugby, it doesn't stop even when it rains. You bump and run with your whole body in a mud that's hard to walk. Towards..." I wrote.
Taking advantage of the relationship with sports at the time, he actively promoted Ama Sports by serving as the president of the Korean Wrestling Association. In 1996, he was honored to be a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Ho-Am instilled the'Loach and Catfish Theory' to Chairman Lee Kun-hee in his school days.
A farmer released only loach in one rice field, and loosened loach and catfish in the other.
The loach released by mixing with the natural enemy catfish was plump and strong.
Because it had to be faster than catfish to survive.
This was based on Chairman Lee's management philosophy.
After graduating from Seoul Academy of Education, I was admitted to Yonsei University, but at the recommendation of Ho-Am, I went to the Faculty of Commerce at Waseda University in Japan.
During this time, Chairman Lee was obsessed with cars.
By repeating the process of disassembling and assembling cars, I have become an expert when it comes to car structure.
It is said that in the United States, an ambassador bought a vehicle for 4,200 dollars, and after a long ride, he sold it for an additional 600 dollars.
It is said that she changed cars six times during her study abroad life.
It was because I was fascinated by the car itself rather than a luxury hobby.
In 1966, after completing his studies at the George Washington University School of Business, Chairman Lee traveled to Mexico but was unable to re-enter the United States due to visa issues and headed to Tokyo.
At Haneda Airport in Tokyo, I met Ms. Rahee Hong, who was studying at Seoul National University's Department of Applied Art.
I got engaged in January 1967 and married in April of that year after Ms. Hong graduated from college.
After getting married, I worked in the Samsung secretary office for two years.
In the 1970s, Chairman Lee visited Silicon Valley, USA.
After the oil shock in 1973, it was a time when we were seeking to enter the high-tech industry.
Just in time, Korean Semiconductor was caught by his radar.
When Korean semiconductors, which used to make electronic clocks with poorly integrated circuits, faced a bankruptcy crisis, they suggested'let's take over by Samsung', but Hoam shook his head.
Thirty-two Lee Kun-hee acquired 50% of Korea Semiconductor with purely their own money.
Then, I visited Silicon Valley more than 50 times and tried to get the semiconductor technology transfer.
Instead of giving out a 30% stake to Fairchild, they also received technology.
The myth of 256 mega DRAM has sprung up since then.
The full-fledged management class as a successor to the Samsung Group began in August 1978 when he was promoted to vice chairman of Samsung C&T.
It was about two years after founder Lee Byung-cheol was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
In an interview with Nikkei Business in 1977, the founder formalized "Keonhee is the successor."
The following year, he was promoted to Samsung Group Vice Chairman and started working on the 28th floor of Samsung Main Building in Taepyeong-ro, Seoul.
It was the room right next to the founder's office.
As Ho-Am recalled earlier, "I saw Kun-hee's hobbies and willingness to participate and study hard in corporate management," the life of a manager became Chairman Lee's profession.
Chairman Lee, who served as the chairman of Samsung's overseas business promotion committee, jumped into the acquisition of Yugong (Korea National Oil Corporation), which was promoting privatization as a state-owned company at the time.
They flew to Mexico to meet the president and the CEO of state-run oil companies to pioneer the introduction of crude oil.
However, when the Ministry of Energy and Energy announced the list of finalists in 1980, it was not Samsung, but Sunkyung.
Ho-am was shocked, and Chairman Lee had to face his father's cold gaze for a while.
However, the failure to take over Yugong served as the foundation for greater success for Lee Kun-hee.
Chairman Lee took over the management rights of the Samsung Group 9 years after becoming Vice Chairman.
There was a tremendous storm before he succeeded in taking over Samsung's management.
Even after joining the company, I went through twists and turns for over 20 years.
In the first place, Ho-am decided to entrust the central media to Chairman Lee.
I recommended this from Waseda University, and in fact, Chairman Lee joined Dongyang Broadcasting Corporation as his first job in 1966.
However, the so-called'Hanbi case (Smuggling Korean fertilizer saccharin)' that unfolded that year shakes up the succession structure of the Samsung Group.
It was found that the Hanbi case, in which the smuggling of saccharin raw materials was caught, involved Hoam's eldest sons, Maenghee and Changhee, but immediately after the incident, only the second son, Changhee, was arrested.
Later, Ho-am takes responsibility for the incident and retires from the business community.
A 51% stake in Hanbi was dedicated to the state.
Maeng-hee, who was thirty-six years old, served as the head of Samsung's head, with over 10 vice president titles.
At that time, it seemed that Samsung’s management rights would be transferred to the eldest son, Maeng-hee, when the first-born inheritance was the principle.
Hoam also ordered the bosses to say, "If vice president Maeng-hee refuses, talk about it three times, and if that doesn't work, bring it to me."
However, Hoam Autobiography wrote, "Because of my advice and my hope, I entrusted the management of part of the group to Maeng-hee, but in less than 6 months, the company and the entire group were in confusion, and I voluntarily resigned."
However, Maeng-hee stated otherwise that he ran Samsung for seven years, not six months.
In the aftermath of the ensuing group confusion and the Cheong Wa Dae Tuseo incident, the eldest son, Maeng-hee, lost Ho-am's trust and wandered abroad.
He had a few chances to return, but even that flew away, and Ho-am decided to leave Samsung to Chairman Lee Kun-hee early in 1971.
Vice Chairman Lee Kun-hee encountered a dizzying moment in 1982.
One day in the fall of that year, a dump truck appeared in front of him while driving Peugeot along Yangjae Avenue.
I hit the brakes, but I'm late.
Chairman Lee, who was thrown out of the car, recovered after two weeks because the trauma was not severe, but there was a lot of behind the scenes after a traffic accident.
(Photo = courtesy of Samsung, Yonhap News)