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Samsung founder's kid back at the wheel

Two-year tax-evasion penance served

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Lee Kun-hee will return to head up Samsung Electronics, having resigned from the company in 2008 with a conviction for tax evasion - for which he's since been pardoned.

Lee Kun-hee won't be taking on all his previous responsibilities, just the Electronics part of the Samsung group and alongside a board of which he won't be chair, but his return should bring some stability to the company despite his assertion that "in the coming 10 years, businesses and products that represent Samsung today will mostly disappear".

Samsung is a very large company, one of the South Korean jaebeol - family-run conglomerates with close connections to the government. In 2008 Lee Kun-hee was forced to resign after being caught trading Samsung shares and stashing the dosh in employee's bank accounts to avoid paying tax.

Since then he's paid back the money and been given a pardon for his crimes, so he steps back into the company with a clean slate - assuming investors can forgive and forget his patchy past.

Samsung Electronics is riding high at the moment - the Wall Street Journal reckons the division will make more than the $10bn profit in 2010, and as long as Lee can sustain that kind of success few will bother muck-raking his past. ®

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