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By Yang jingmuyi
Source: qubit (ID: qbitai)
Just now, Li Jianxi was confirmed dead at the age of 78.
He is the second leader of SamSung group. He is the “key man” who transformed Samsung from a Korean local company into a global innovation and technology giant.
When he took over Samsung from his father, Li Bingzhe, Samsung was just a small manufacturer of TV and microwave ovens. Under his rule, Samsung Group has realized the transformation from a debt of $17 billion to the global top of many businesses such as technology, electronics, semiconductor and smart phones.
Even after he was hospitalized with myocardial infarction in 2014, he still has wealth growth. In the Forbes 2020 rich list released on July 9 this year, Li Jianxi is still the richest man in South Korea with a fortune of $17.3 billion.
Li Jianxi, who was born in 1942, can also find the qualities that other great entrepreneurs of his time are praised for.
He cut down the main cost-effective Shanzhai products, stressed quality and innovation, told employees: change everything, except your wife and children.
He was the first entrepreneur to call out the “genius theory” and made it clear that he wanted to recruit talented employees from all over the world to work in Samsung.
He has also been involved in car building but suffered huge losses, and used personal $2 billion to make up for the loss of Samsung Group’s investment in cars.
Of course, there have been several scandals, two prison sentences and two amnesties by the president.
Now, Li Jianxi, born on January 9, 1942, died on October 25, 2020, aged 78.
Who is Li Jianxi?
Born in 1942, Li Jianxi has received Japanese education since he was 13 years old.
When he was a freshman, Yonsei University of Korea went to Waseda University Business School to study for an economics degree.
Then he went to the United States for further study. In 1966, he studied for an MBA at George Washington University. His second major was mass media.
In December 1974, when he was still working at Samsung’s Toyo TV station, he told his father, Samsung founder Li Bingzhe,
Even if I’m alone, I’ll try that.
That is semiconductor.
A few days later, Samsung acquired South Korea semiconductor, which is the predecessor of Samsung’s semiconductor division.
In 1978, Li Jianxi served as vice president of Samsung products.
In 1987, after Li Bingzhe died, Li Jianxi became the new president of SamSung group.
At the celebration of Samsung’s 50th anniversary, Li Jianxi announced the group’s “second venture” and set Samsung’s development direction as a world-class super first-class enterprise in the 21st century.
In 1992, when Li Jianxi saw his Samsung Electronics Products covered with dust in a store in Los Angeles, the United States, he decided to make a “fundamental change” to Samsung Electronics.
Soon, the idea was confirmed by his employees.
In the following year, in order to encourage innovation and meet the challenges of competitors such as Sony, Li Jianxi held a “68 day” marathon meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, and put forward the famous “new business Manifesto”
Change everything except your wife and children.
At the same time, he also proposed to take quality management and strive for change as the core, thoroughly change the prevailing “quantity as the core” thought, and beat Samsung’s persistent disease.
In 1994, Li Jianxi invested in Samsung automobile, but the effect was not good, and then sold it to Renault, France. The company spent $2 billion to cover the group’s deficit.
In 1997, he was president of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., when Samsung’s debt reached 17 billion US dollars. Samsung entered a period of “extraordinary operation”. In 2004, the vision of “talent pool” was put forward.
In 2005, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by time magazine.
He was rated as the world’s largest maker of smartphones, TVs and memory chips from a Shanzhai Korean home appliance manufacturer.
He had a heart attack in 2014 and has been under treatment since. But wealth is still rising.
At present, his net worth is estimated at $20.7 billion, according to the index.
It’s mainly about two prison sentences.
In 1996, Li Jianxi was accused of bribing former president Lu Taiyu in 1989 and 1992 and was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence. However, it was later exempted in 1997.
In addition, before the 1997 presidential election, he sponsored Li Huichang as much as $10 million in political contributions, which caused a great stir.
On April 4, 2008, Lee Chien hee, President of SamSung group of South Korea, was questioned by the special prosecutor group for the first time. He denied in front of the media that he planned and participated in bribery.
In the same year, Li Jianxi was accused of tax evasion, breach of trust and dereliction of duty. He gained hundreds of millions of Hong Kong dollars illegally. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years and fined 110 billion won.
He later announced his resignation as chairman of SamSung group and his rights and obligations as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
However, he was granted an amnesty by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on December 31, 2009, on the grounds that Lee was needed to serve South Korea in its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
In addition, there was a scandal in the world.
In July 2016, South Korea’s news tapa reported that it had received a video of Samsung Electronics chairman Li Jianxi involved in whoring provided by an anonymous informant.
The secret videos, which were recorded between December 2011 and June 2013, show that Li Jianxi and three or five “celebrities” are in and out of villas and hotels.
And the dialogue involves money and sex trading. According to the report, the women claimed to have received five million won (about $4400) in “service fees” paid by Li Jianxi.
At the time of the exposure (2016), Li Jianxi had been in bed for two years due to heart disease. In 2011, Li Jianxi was 69 years old.
Finally, what Li Jianxi left behind is not only the enterprises and disputes, but also the test that Li zaireng, the successor, will face.
In 2009, Li zaireng, the only son of Li Jianxi, was appointed Vice President of Samsung Electronics, a subsidiary of SamSung group, and was promoted to president one year later.
At that time, he was regarded as an important part of the “younger management” by Li Jianxi, chairman of Samsung Electronics.
Li zaireng quickly entered the board of directors of SamSung group and naturally took control of SamSung group.
However, the SamSung that Li Zai Rong faces is still intertwined.
From the logic of the whole family interests, like most chaebols in South Korea, the Lee family owns relatively few shares in each entity of Samsung, but maintains control through complex cross shareholding.
Since the second half of 2013, Samsung has tried to promote internal business restructuring, adjust or transfer duplicate business departments among subsidiaries, and decisively sell subsidiaries with poor competitiveness and synergy, but the progress is slow.
The complexity of the structure is a headache for the heirs, especially after Li Jianxi was seriously ill.
In addition, in 2016, Lee was in trouble and sentenced for his involvement in the incident of “cronyist interference” by the then president of South Korea, park Geun hye.
After that, Li Zai Rong was jailed for nearly a year on charges of embezzlement, bribery and perjury, and returned to Samsung in early 2018 as head of the company.
At present, Samsung’s business adjustment is not small in the transformation facing the wave of new technology. In the fields of smart phones, TV and semiconductor, Samsung is experiencing unprecedented competition.
On May 6, 2020, Li zaireng publicly stated that he did not intend to let his children be the successor of Samsung.
Therefore, the Samsung family empire in South Korea may change after three generations of inheritance. But it is still too early, because Li is only 52 years old.
After Li Jianxi’s death, Li Zairong issued an announcement on behalf of Samsung, saying:
All employees of Samsung will cherish the memory with him and thank us for the journey we have experienced with him.
The death of Li Jianxi has become a global news. All major media have reported and evaluated.
The associated press compared Li Jianxi and jobs, saying that they both changed the global consumer electronics industry with innovative spirit, and reversed the situation and realized the company’s counter attack.
Mr. Lee has been called a giant by the news agency, which has transformed Samsung from a Shanzhai electronics manufacturer into a global smartphone, TV and memory chip giant.
Moreover, the media stressed that it was the innovation and reform of Lee Kin hee and SamSung that led South Korea into a global science and technology power.
According to the New York Times, today’s Samsung Electronics is the cornerstone of South Korea’s economy and one of the largest R & D spending enterprises in the world, and the founder is Li Jianxi.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)