Samsung’s Lee likely to step down from Boao Forum’s board

Seoul, Jan 3  :  Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is likely to step down from the board of the Boao Forum by not extending his term which ends in April, industry watchers said on Wednesday.

“Lee’s term is expected to end in April,” a business official said, adding it would be difficult for Lee to continue his role as a member behind bars.

Lee was named as a board member of the regional forum in 2013, succeeding SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Boao Forum, held every April, aims to expand cooperation among countries and businesses in Asia.

It is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this region and the world at large.

The 49-year-old Lee has been behind bars since February 2017 amid allegations that he took part in a major political scandal that led to the impeachment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye last year.

A court sentenced him to five years in jail in August after being convicted of bribery, embezzlement and other charges.

Samsung’s global strategies are facing hurdles due to the absence of major leaders, according to industry watchers.

Lee’s father Lee Kun-hee also has been hospitalised since 2014 after suffering a heart attack and is currently unable to participate in the group’s management.

The older Lee also stepped down from his membership on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in August. He had been an IOC member since 1996.