The disaster of the Galaxy Note 7 could be a minutia next to what is happening in Samsung Group, the gigantic conglomerate of companies that this South Korean multinational controls and that now is shaken by corruption charges.
The arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, vice president and heir to the electronics giant, has resulted in a ruling declaring him - along with four other top executives - guilty of bribery and embezzlement. The implications could be very important for the future of all the ramifications of this conglomerate.
The 'South Korean Rasputina'
As we explained a few weeks ago, the son of Lee Kun-hee (owner of Samsung and richest man in the Asian nation), 48, had long been following the script as heir and successor in the direction of the Asian giant.
During her tenure, however, transfers ("donations") totaling $ 18.6 million have been found to foundations and companies controlled by Choi Soon-il, the so-called "South Korean Rasputina", who is a longtime friend of the President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, 65, stripped of her powers by the scandal.
These donations are related to corporate favors, through which mergers of Samsung subsidiaries - ranging from their well-known mobile divisions to powerful biopharmaceutical companies - were approved, something that would, among other things, give Lee Jae-yong more control over the firm.
Side effects are unpredictable
Samsung Group executive vice president Lee June commented at a press conference that "we apologize for the social controversy and the anguish caused." The ruling could end an unprecedented decision: the final dismissal of South Korean President Park, who has denied the charges, as did Choi and Lee. The latter could face a 20-year prison sentence.
One of the consequences of the scandal could be the dissolution of the Samsung Group as a conglomerate, as well as the closure of the Future Strategy Office, an organization that had not even a legal entity but was controlled by 200 employees selected by various affiliated companies. Was in charge of deciding the strategy of investment and financing of all types of companies that surround Samsung Group.
It remains to be seen how divisions like Samsung Electronics remain in all this scandal, but the corruption scandal and the opacity of FSO operations could transform the structure and hierarchy of one of the most important business groups around the world.