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Samsung says chairman 'stable,' denies any possible disruption to management

SEOUL--Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee was in stable condition in hospital Monday after suffering an apparent heart attack, the company said, denying any disruption to its management affairs.

Lee, 72, is largely credited with turning Samsung — founded by his father in 1938 — into a global brand which is now the world's top chip and smartphone maker.

He is also the de facto head of the entire business empire, which employs some 200,000 staff in dozens of affiliates and dominates many aspects of life in South Korea.

Recent health problems have led Lee to become less involved in the day-to-day running of the giant conglomerate than before — although he still has a major say in important strategic decisions.

He was hospitalized late Saturday and underwent a surgical procedure to widen his arteries the next day.

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