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Samsung chairman to step down

The chairman of Samsung group has announced he will step down, just five days after being charged with tax evasion and breach of trust.

business Updated: Apr 22, 2008 15:07 IST

The chairman of South Korea's largest group Samsung announced on Tuesday he will step down, just five days after being charged with tax evasion and breach of trust.

"Today, I have decided to step down from the Samsung group chairmanship," Lee Kun-Hee, 66, told a nationally televised press conference.

Special prosecutors charged him last Thursday after a three-month probe into corruption allegations against the multinational.

They cleared Lee of bribery and said he would remain free pending trial.

Lee's resignation came in a dramatic and unscheduled announcement at a press conference called to unveil reforms to the group.

The group said in a statement that the chairman would resign all his posts with Samsung.

Samsung would dismantle its powerful strategic planning office, a group of some 90 officials who have been accused of helping the chairman manage his hidden assets and transfer control of management to his son Jae-Yong.

Jae-Yong would step down as a chief customer officer of Samsung Electronics and work on overseas operations "in a tough environment," the statement added.

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