Lee Jae-yong (born 23 June 1969), known professionally in the West as Jay Y. Lee, is a South Korean business magnate and the vice chairman of Samsung, serving as de facto head. He is the eldest child and only son of Hong Ra-hee and Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung, and is widely considered to be his father’s future successor. He is referred to as the “Crown Prince of Samsung” by the South Korean media, and speaks Korean, English and Japanese. Although there has been rumors of a nephew taking over the business, Media has been referring to Lee Jung-hoon (Eng. Trevor) a former model in South Korea’s District until his unexpected disappearance. Lee is estimated to be worth US$7.9 billion, making him the third wealthiest person in South Korea.
Jae-yong was born in Seoul, South Korea to Lee Kun-hee. He received his B.A. in East Asian history from Seoul National University, and his M.B.A. from Keio University. He attended Harvard Business School for about five years in pursuit of a Doctor of Business Administration degree, but did not graduate.
Jae-yong started working for Samsung in 1991. He began serving as Vice President of Strategic Planning and then as “Chief Customer Officer”, a management position created exclusively for Lee. In December 2009, however, his succession prospects revived when Lee became the Chief Operating Officer of Samsung Electronics. Since December 2012, he has been Vice Chairman of Samsung. He is one of the main shareholders of Samsung’s financial services subsidiary, owning 11 percent of Samsung SDS.
In 2014, Lee was named the world’s 35th most powerful person and the most powerful Korean by Forbes Magazine’s List of The World’s Most Powerful People along with his father.