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Top Samsung executives agree to follow the law and rules

Jan 14,2020
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From left, Samsung Electronics President Kim Hyun-suk, Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam and President Koh Dong-jin sign an internal pledge promising to conduct business activities strictly within the law and social principles on Monday at the company’s Suwon headquarters in Gyeonggi. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]
Three presidents at Samsung Electronics signed a pledge Monday to comply with the laws in carrying out their executive duties.

The commitment they made is unconnected to the establishment of a compliance surveillance body, which will be led by former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyung.

Vice Chairman and President Kim Ki-nam, in charge of the company’s semiconductor business, President and CEO Koh Dong-jin, leading the smartphone business, and Kim Hyun-suk, in charge of home electronics, made the pledge at the company’s Suwon headquarters in Gyeonggi.

Chief executives of three other Samsung companies also signed the document electronically - the leaders of Samsung SDS, Samsung CNT and Samsung Electro-Mechanics. Executives from Samsung SDI, Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance will sign the agreement later.

According to Samsung Electronics, the pact has three main conditions: The executives promise to abide by laws and internal rules; they will not give orders for or condone illegal activities; and they will lead efforts to establish a corporate culture prioritizing legal compliance.

This month, the seven companies are slated to sign an agreement with the monitoring body - which will officially put them under its surveillance. The panel is composed of seven members, including Kim, two professors, an attorney, two members of civil society and a Samsung Electronics adviser.

Although its activities will be funded by seven Samsung companies, Kim stressed in a press event last week that body “will be operated independently from Samsung’s involvement.”

Details on procedures for investigation and the body’s mandate have not yet been decided.

The establishment of the panel comes after a Seoul High Court judge overseeing a case in which Lee was found guilty of bribery demanded in October that Samsung Group develop an internal system to assure that it companies and its leaders follow relevant laws, regulations and business rules.

Lee’s bribery case, which involved illegal payments made during the Park Geun-hye administration, is being retried.

BY SONG KYOUNG SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]