SEOUL -- South Korean antitrust authorities on Tuesday designated the heirs of Samsung and Lotte as the leaders of the corporate empires, recognizing that they have taken the helm from their aging fathers.
The Fair Trade Commission named Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin the heads of the two chaebol, or family-run conglomerates, in its 2018 report on the groups' asset values.
Up through the previous year, Lee Kun-hee was the listed leader of Samsung and Shin Kyuk-ho of Lotte. But the elder Lee has passed the torch since being confined to a Seoul hospital bed since 2014, and the younger Shin is seen as having effectively taken control of Lotte around 2015. The change of designation was meant to bring the watchdog's assessment of the companies up to date.
Shin Dong-bin was recently sentenced to 30 months in prison on bribery charges related to former President Park Geun-hye, who was herself impeached and convicted for corruption. Lee Jae-yong received a suspended sentence for his own bribery charges.