Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman, Lee Jae-yong, has reportedly been removed from the board of directors of Exor, an investment company that is currently the holder of multinational corporation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The investment company has led to the decision to remove Lee due to his ongoing trial for alleged involvement in an influence peddling scandal with former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, according to The Investor. Samsung has refused to give a statement regarding the matter and says it is personal for Lee.
"As we begin this next important phase in our history, I would like to extend my personal thanks to board members -- namely Vittorio Avogadro di Collobiano, Giovanni Chiura, Mina Gerowin and Lee Jae-yong -- whose mandates have recently drawn to a close," Exor Chairman, John Elkann, said during a board meeting held on April 5.
"Their wise counsel during a particularly intensive and complex period has been decisive in making Exor what it is today -- a stronger, leaner and ever more international group, well placed for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead," Elkann continued.
Exor investment company is going to hold a general shareholders' meeting on May 30, Pulse News reported.
Samsung purportedly gave 44.3 billion won ($39.1 million) to organizations owned by former South Korean President Park's longtime friend, Choi Soon-sil, Korea Herald reported. It includes a 13.5 billion signed contract to support the training of Choi's equestrian daughter and the purchase for her horses.
The court trial is now investigating if whether Lee and other Samsung officials have asked Park for any favors during the time of the scandal. But Samsung's de facto chief's lawyer reiterated that Lee was not aware of the relationship of Park and Choi and that the company provided financial assistance to the latter's organizations with no ulterior motives behind it.
Lee was added as an outside director for Exor in May 2012 and was again in 2015 for a three-year term.