How much is Samsung Group’s Chairman Lee Kun-hee annual salary? Unlike the estimates of those who have this question in mind, the answer is “none.”
On November 20, Samsung Group’s Future Strategy Communications Team Leader Lee In-yong mentioned at the briefing right after the Wednesday meeting of company presidents, “Recently some questioned why Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s annual salary has not been disclosed in the Samsung board members’ salary disclosure,” and added, “For one, Lee doesn’t qualify since he’s not a board member, but also because he receives no salary from the company.”
After next year’s half billion won salaries of affiliates’ board members were disclosed, there has been continuous talk about revealing Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s salary as well. It seems that Samsung took matters into its own hands and explained itself. Recently, some large enterprises and their chairmen, including Lee, have been criticized for not revealing their salaries due to the fact that they’re not board members. The effectiveness of the salary disclosure has been criticized.
Lee stopped receiving a salary after he stepped down from management in 2008, after Samsung’s special prosecution. Two years later in March 2010, he returned to management as CEO of Samsung Electronics, but he is receiving no compensation except for the office, car, private jets, and other expenses necessary for business. Lee is, however, receiving a dividend income from his Samsung Electronics stocks.
On the other hand, according to the Financial Supervisory Service’s Data Analysis, Retrieval, and Transfer System, Samsung Electronics paid a total of 13.592 billion won (US$12.797 million) to four of the board members in the company until Q3. This is about 3.398 billion won (US$3.200 million) per person. The salary limit for any Samsung Electronics’ board member is 38 billion won (US$35.778 million).