Samsung courts nepotism again, appoints chief's son Jay Y. Lee to vice chairman

Though Samsung is ostensibly a public company, it has been run more like a fiefdom in terms of leadership, having been founded in 1938 by Lee Byung-chull who passed the reins on to current chairman Lee Kun-hee 25 years ago last week. Now, his 44-year-old son, Jay Y. Lee, has been appointed vice chairman, paving the way for another likely family succession to the top of the $195 billion Korean electronics giant. The scion is already the chief operating officer and president of Samsung and the new role will "build on his existing responsibilities and (let him) take a broader role in managing Samsung Electronics' business," according to the company. That may fly in the face of the Korea's political climate right now, according to Reuters, where the country's chaebol's are under pressure to reform amid an ever-widening wealth gap. Though Lee is reported to be lacking in the kind of business star-power that his father exudes, nowadays the job might require more of a keen legal mind than anything else.