[KOREA DAILY POST=Reporter Sohn JiAe] Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, made a public apology on May 6 over controversies related to the company's illegalities, vowing to prevent the recurrence of such wrongdoings.
During a nationally televised news conference, Lee said with a bow that, "Although it has grown into a leading company in the world, Samsung has not strictly complied with laws and ethics and failed to have enough communication with civil society. This is my fault. I deeply apologize."
Lee also said that Samsung would end its 82-year-old "no-union" philosophy and conventional practices related to leadership succession.
"We have been criticized for passing the company's managerial rights to my family. Currently, legal battles on a bribery case related to leadership succession are underway. I make sure that no controversy happens again regarding the succession issue."
Lee said he had no intention of bequeathing managerial powers to his own children, adding that, "I mean it. This is the plan that I've long thought about."
Lee then apologized for the company's union-busting practices that have lasted for 82 years ever since its establishment and vowed to take a forward-looking stance on labor union activities.
Apologizing to those who were hurt by the group's no-labor union policy, Lee said that, "We will strictly comply with labor related laws and will guarantee three fundamental labor rights. We will also make efforts to establish a united and win-win relationship between labor and management."
In regard to communication with civil society, Lee vowed to listen to voices from people and continue to communicate with the people.
"I will be open to all voices -- whether it is criticism or advice -- and will stay humble and get closer to people," he said.
He also ensured that the company would not break laws again, saying, "Complying with laws is an uncompromisable value. I myself will abide by the law and establish a law-abiding culture across the company."