On August 14, a senior official at Samsung Group denied rumors floating around the Yeouido stock street that Samsung Electronics’ Chairman Lee Kun-hee is in critical condition. In a press conference, which was immediately held after a high-level meeting at the Samsung Electronics' Seocho Building, the Samsung official said, "The speculations surrounding the chairman's illness are not true. He is healthy as usual." He continued by saying, "If Lee had health problems, he would not attempt to have an executive dinner to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Samsung's New Management Initiative, slated for August 23."
Some in in the stock markets pointed out that, unusual for him,Chairman Lee did not go to work at Samsung's Seocho Building on August 13, and the dinner scheduled for August 16 was postponed until August 23, which raised a red flag on Lee's health. Indeed, Samsung suddenly delayed its dinner until August 23, which was due to be held at the Hotel Shilla, Seoul, on August 16, and presided over by Lee.
The spokesperson for Samsung said, "The reason for Lee's absence on August 13 is not based on his health issues. It stems from his pattern for reporting to work altering due to many overseas trips."
Samsung Group also denied stories about the repurchase of 4 million Samsung Electronics stocks. The Samsung official said, "There were rumors over Samsung's reacquisition of its own shares, which is floating in the stock markets. But it is totally untrue. Apparently, the rumors emerged as its stock prices surged. But then they fell again."