A controversy has been raised over the candidates for outside directors of Samsung Electronics ahead of its regular shareholders` meeting on March 20.
Concerns are rising over the possibility of losing its independence for former Minister of Economy and Finance Park Jae-wan, who will be re-elected as outside director, and Seoul National University medical school professor Ahn Gyu-ri, who will be nominated as new outside director.
Korea`s voting rights consulting company Sustinvest and Daishin Governance Research Institute have recommended opposition to Samsung`s plan to appoint outside directors.
Sustinvest recommended opposition to Park's reappointment as an outside director, saying that it is difficult for Park to perform his duties independently because he has been serving as professor of Sungkyungkwan University since 1996.
The institute also said that it would be difficult for Park to fulfill his duties as an outside director since the university, where Park is currently in office, is a corporation where the head of the group, including Samsung Electronics, can exert influence.
Regarding Ahn Gyu-ri, Sustinvest said, "He received compensation other than remuneration from the Hoam Foundation, a special relationship company of Samsung Electronics. We believe that it is difficult for Ahn to perform our independent duties as an outside director." Ahn won the social service award, “Hoam Award” from the Samsung Group in 2017.
Sustinvest pointed out that the problem is that Ahn received 300 million won in prize money from the Hoam Foundation and a golden medal worth about 2.25 million won.