Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee has a truly formidable presence within South Korea, but his presence within his own company is apparently something else altogether. Bloomberg reports that, during one visit to a factory, workers were told that they shouldn't watch through the windows as he entered the building, because they should not look down at him. Factory employees also had to park their cars in a rear lot so that Lee wouldn't have to see them (their cars were, apparently, not nice enough for his eyes), mints were placed in the bathrooms so that workers could improve their breath, and a red carpet was set out for Lee to walk down as he entered.
Stories of the reverence for Lee within his company are by no means new, but they may stand in stark contrast to the stories that come next. Bloomberg reports that Lee is still in the hospital after a heart attack in May, and his apparent successor, his son and Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee, doesn't seem to command that level of respect — not yet, at least. Though his son has made a mark within Samsung — he's said to be responsible for putting Samsung components inside of Apple products — his specific accomplishments reportedly aren't all that obvious to the public, and perhaps throughout the company as well.