South Korea restores Samsung’s Jay Y Lee right to work

SAMSUNG Electronics Co vice chairman Jay Y Lee had his right to work at the company restored by South Korea, opening the way for him to formally take the helm of the country’s largest conglomerate roiled by global demand and supply shocks.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has cleared the heir to the country’s biggest company of bribery charges, for which Lee spent 18 months in prison before his release on parole a year ago.

The move comes as the global economy faces successive shocks from rising inflation, market disruption from the war in Ukraine and logistics snarls triggered by China’s Covid-zero lockdowns, raising the threat of uncertainty for export-oriented Korea. Rising geopolitical tensions between the US and China over chip technology also complicate long-term operation plans for Samsung, which runs major fabs in the two largest economies.

“In a bid to overcome the economic crisis by vitalising the economy, Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, whose suspended prison term was ended recently, will be reinstated,” the Korean government said in a joint statement from its ministries. – BLOOMBERG