Samsung executives are advising staff members to keep their eyes on the work and avoid distractions, spurred by a recent court decision sentencing Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years behind bars in a government bribery case. Co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun sent a message to employees urging them to keep working toward the firm’s goals, despite the ongoing court case, which is currently under appeal, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In his first company-wide memo to staff since Lee’s sentencing, Kwon said the prison sentence is an unprecedented challenge” and advised staff members to keep up their hard work as they await “the truth to come to light,” the Wall Street Journal said. The company is continuing to work toward its goals, and shares of Samsung are almost at a record high on the heels of the company’s recent quarterly profit threshold, which also set a record for the firm.
Not long after Kwon posted his message to staff on the company’s internal internet bulletin board, Samsung announced that the firm‘s management committee had put its stamp of approval on a $2.3-billion investment to bolster its NAND memory chip facilities in China, the Wall Street Journal noted.
The announcement from Kwon came to many as a sign that Samsung will keep operating as usual, even as company heir Lee was no longer in his role at the firm. Kwon emphasized that he and his two co-CEOs would continue to drive the company toward its long-term goals.
Under Korean law, Lee can be kept in detention for a maximum of four months while a court considers his appeal.
“I believe all of you must be devastated by the lower court ruling.... We management are also distressed,” Kwon said in a letter to employees at the time of the sentencing. “Please do the best you can where you are.... We management will also lead the way in overcoming the crisis with uncommon resolve.”