While in prison, Lee may not be able to make important decisions for Samsung at a crucial time when demand for its memory chips and other products is extremely high. Korea and Samsung in particular have gained more prominence in recent times due to the difficult relationship between the United States and China.
At the final trial hearing, Lee issued a long apology and vowed to manufacture a “new Samsung” and “fix what the court pointed out as the misdeeds of the chaebol. [family-owned conglomerate], ” he said. He also vowed not to pass the power on to his children.
The sentence was in part based on the court’s assessment of an independent compliance committee set up by Samsung to monitor the wrongdoing of executives. Lee’s legal woes are not yet over, as he is also on trial for alleged fraud and stock manipulation. He is still expected to become president of Samsung once released, following the death of his father Lee Kun-hee at the end of last year.