March 26, 2018 13:09
Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, who is on probation for bribing ex-President Park Geun-hye, has left on a business trip to Europe.
It is Lee's first business trip abroad since visiting India in September 2016, before he was implicated in the corruption scandal that brought Park down.
A Samsung staffer said Sunday Lee left last Thursday to meet with major clients in Europe "as well as partners in new growth businesses." He obtained court approval to travel abroad, but it is not clear when he will return.
Lee stayed away from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where Samsung was a major sponsor, as well as a groundbreaking ceremony for a new semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province and Samsung Electronics' shareholder meeting.
Samsung staff say the trip will give him a chance to recover his network of business contacts and help him assess the situation facing his company.
Lee has been an outside director of Exor, the Italian holding company of Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari, and executive director of the Chinese nonprofit Boao Forum for Asia, but his months in jail put paid to some of the benefits that brought to Samsung.
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