Samsung Group set to announce revamp plans, abolish key office

Samsung Group, South Korea's largest business conglomerate, is set to announce plans to revamp the group's management, including a widely anticipated move to abolish its key future strategy office, according to group officials on Tuesday, from the Yonhap's source.

The plans, which would also let affiliates independently make their own business decisions, were expected to be unveiled as early as Tuesday afternoon, group officials said.

Samsung has said it will shut down the office after the special prosecution team concludes its probe into a presidential influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday rejected a bid by the special prosecutors to extend the investigation. The rejection means that the investigation must be concluded by Tuesday.
Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, who was arrested earlier this month over his alleged role in the scandal, told lawmakers last December that he would abolish the group's future strategy office, which has come under criticism regarding the scandal.

One of the office's main tasks is to deal with government affairs, making it vulnerable to what critics say are cozy ties with the government.

With the future strategy office being abolished, a personnel reshuffle of top executives would be conducted by each affiliate's board of directors.

The group's official website and blog sites will be closed, officials said.

Still, it remains unclear how the sprawling Samsung Group will coordinate groupwide affairs.

Special prosecutors investigating the scandal accused Lee of paying bribes worth about US$40 million, among other charges.

The bribes were allegedly paid to Park and her longtime friend to let Samsung smoothly push ahead with succession plans for Lee, including a controversial merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, according to the prosecutors.

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