Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee hospitalized, but in stable condition, after heart attack

WASHINGTON – The chairman of the Samsung business empire was reportedly in stable condition at a Seoul hospital Sunday after suffering a heart attack.

The Wall Street Journal reported that hospital staff said the 72-year-old Lee Kun-hee was sent to the Samsung Medical Center late Saturday after showing signs of a heart attack.

Calls and emails to Samsung were not immediately returned Sunday afternoon.

Samsung Electronics Co. has a top-heavy command structure that centres on the founding family. Lee Kun-hee is the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull and was tapped in 1979 by his father to lead what would become South Korea’s most valuable company.

The company’s business operations are run by three CEOs, though Lee Kun-hee wields significant control over the company’s direction.