Samsung Heir Lee Jae-yong’s Presidential Pardon and the Massive Support from South Korean Shareholders

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol granted a presidential pardon to Samsung’s Vice Chairman and heir to the conglomerate, Lee Jae-Yong, in 2021, cutting short his prison sentence for bribery and embezzlement. The decision sparked concerns about how the public might react to freeing someone convicted of a crime. However, Lee’s pardon has also won in the court of public opinion, with domestic Samsung shareholders welcoming his return to the company.

Samsung’s Massive Following in South Korea

Samsung is the most valuable company in South Korea, with a massive following of over 5.9 million individual shareholders in the country, representing almost 11% of the population. The figure rises to over 15% (8.1 million total shareholders) when including other publicly traded Samsung Group companies. This demonstrates the enormous following that Samsung has in South Korea, and it’s no wonder that Lee’s pardon has brought about a wave of positive energy within its shareholders’ community.

Before his pardon, Lee was granted parole in August 2021, and a public opinion poll conducted ahead of the parole showed that 70% of South Koreans wanted a pardon so that he could lead the Samsung Group again. President Yoon Suk-yeol and former President Moon Jae-in may have considered this public sentiment when making their decision.

Lee Jae-Yong Back in the Driver’s Seat

With his presidential pardon effective from August 15, 2021, South Korea’s National Liberation Day anniversary, Lee Jae-Yong has resumed the leadership of the Samsung Group. A few days after the pardon, he attended the company’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new $15 billion R&D facility dedicated to semiconductor chips.

Samsung has also recently opened its largest semiconductor manufacturing unit globally. The new unit is located at its Pyeongtaek campus in South Korea. Lee has vowed to work harder to “achieve growth along with South Korean society,” and he appears to be acting on his words.

Samsung’s Continued Innovation

The public support for Lee’s return to Samsung highlights the company’s significance in South Korea and Lee’s importance as the heir to the conglomerate. As Lee takes on his leadership role again, it will be interesting to see how Samsung continues to innovate and compete globally in the coming years.

In a recent article by Nikkei Asia, analysts suggest that Lee’s return could give Samsung an edge in the race for 5G technology. “Samsung is poised to regain the ground it has lost in the global smartphone market, in part due to the challenges it faced with Lee behind bars,” the article states. Additionally, a CNBC report suggests that Samsung’s share prices could benefit from Lee’s return, as the company’s stock prices have risen by 40% since his release from prison in August.


Lee Jae-yong’s presidential pardon and return to the Samsung Group have received massive public support, highlighting the significance of Samsung in South Korea and Lee’s importance as the heir to the conglomerate. As Samsung continues to innovate and compete globally, Lee’s leadership will guide the company toward growth and success. With Lee back in the driver’s seat, Samsung shareholders can look forward to a bright future for the company.


fatima khan

A brand new writer in the fields, Fatima has been taken under my electric spark's RGB- rich and ensures she doesn't engage in excessive snark on the website. It's unclear what command and Conquer are; however, she can talk for hours about the odd rhythm games, hardware, product reviews, and MMOs that were popular in the 2000s. Fatima has been creating various announcements, previews, and other content while here, but particularly enjoys writing regarding Products' latest news in the market she's currently addicted to. She is likely talking to an additional blogger with her current obsession right now.

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