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Samsung Group president and vice chairman offer to resign amidst bribery scandal

Because of the recent arrest of its vice chairman and current acting leader, Samsung has decided to tighten the board's oversight on future donations.

Published onFebruary 24, 2017

In case you’ve missed it, Samsung has been having quite a few problems lately. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, which is one of the reasons why the company’s reputation among US consumers has taken a beating. I’m talking about the fact that Lee Jae-yong, who is Samsung’s vice chairman and current acting leader, has been arrested on charges that he attempted to bribe the president of South Korea.

Because of the arrest, the tech giant has decided to tighten the board’s oversight on future donations. The company said that from now on, the board of directors will vote on any financial support given to third parties that are worth 1 billion won (around $886,000) or more. Previously, the board only approved donations that were above 680 million won. Additionally, Samsung will also disclose such donations publicly in the future.

What impact will the Samsung chief's arrest have on the company?
This move improves transparency in financial aid and appropriation of social corporate social responsibility funds, and strengthens compliance management. — Samsung.

It also looks like Samsung will lose a few key executives because of the recent bribery scandal. According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Samsung Group vice chairman Choi Gee-sung and president Chang Choong-ki, who are both suspects in the bribery investigation, have decided to leave the company. Lee’s fate is as yet unknown.

This puts Samsung in a bad situation, as it was expected that Choi would take over and manage group-level affairs after Lee’s arrest. It looks like that is not going to happen, which means that Samsung will now have to find a replacement for him.

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