Samsung said on Thursday that its board of directors appointed vice chairman Jay Y. Lee as its executive chairman.
The tech giant said the decision was made to strengthen accountability and stabilize management amid the worsening global business environment.
Lee was designated legally the leader of Samsung Group by the Fair Trade Commission in 2018.
He had been vice chairman since 2012 and joined Samsung back in 1991.
His father, the former chairman Lee Kun-hee, passed away in October 2020 and had been chairman since 1987.
The new executive chairman Jay Y. Lee has been running Samsung since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014 and became incapacitated.
The younger Lee was named inside director of Samsung in October 2016.
But he got entangled in the national bribery scandal involving former South Korean President Park Guen-hye and was called to testify in the National Assembly in the same year.
He was investigated by prosecutors and indicted and following a trial was convicted of bribery and sentenced to five years in prison in February 2017 and was jailed.
He received a suspended sentence in February 2018 on appeal and was set free but was jailed again in January last year in a retrial.
He was freed in August from probation last year and received a presidential pardon this year in August, which lifted his restrictions on employment.
Analyst expect Lee’s appointment as executive chairman to spur more mergers and acquisitions by Samsung in fields such as pharmaceutical, AI and telecommunication.