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>> Samsung's heir apparent stepping up in a crisis as the company grapples with the fallout of the Galaxy Note 7 recall. Jay Y Lee's first public order of business after being named an inside director, apologizing to investors after third quarter mobile earnings plunged 98% compared to the year before.
Reuters Breakingviews columnist Robin Mak explains what's next for Lee.>> His first priority will be to contain the damage from the Note 7 recall. Now, it's widely expected that the company can absorb the financial hit but what's less clear is the reputational and brand damage to the company.
The second challenge that Lee faces will be to how to confront an activist investor. So, earlier this month, the US hedge fund, Elliott Management, demanded that the company split into two and pay out dividends amongst other things. So, how Lee engages and responds to these proposals will be key.
>> On Thursday, Samsung actually named the supplier of its Note 7 batteries, a welcome sign of transparency in conglomerate-dominated South Korea. And while Lee's unofficially lead Samsung since his father's heart attack two years ago, now that's going to change.>> So Samsung has been criticized for being opaque in the past and rightly so.
So, Jay Y Lee has been its de facto leader since 2014, but he never had any board sits or official positions, as very difficult for outsiders to see who is in command, who's making the decisions. What's different now is that, as a board director we will be under much greater scrutiny and be held accountable to shareholders and for investors that's ultimately a good thing.
>> There's still no explanation for the Note 7's fiery problems but regaining trust for consumers will be hard. And the clock is ticking for Lee's first real test, Samsung's next flagship launch expected in March.