10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lee Boo-jin


Lee Boo-jin is a name that’s well known in professional and entrepreneurship circuits. The eldest daughter of Samsung Group’s late chairman, Lee Kun-hee, she runs and operates her business in an industry largely dominated by men. Allow us to take you through some interesting and lesser-known facts about this leading female figure of industry. The following ten points provide a glimpse into Lee Boo-jin’s extraordinary life.

1. She’s One of the Richest Women in South Korea

In the list of South Korea’s wealthiest, Lee Boo-jin holds a significant spot. An incredibly successful businesswoman, she has an estimated net worth of about 2.2 billion USD. This wealth has accrued over the years from diverse sources, primarily Samsung and her other business ventures.

Recognised globally for her fantastic capabilities and wealth, Forbes listed her as one of Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen in 2016. While her vast wealth is impressive, her talent for business is a testament to her excellent leadership skills.

2. She’s the CEO of Hotel Shilla

While the name Samsung is almost synonymous with electronics, Lee Boo-jin has made her waves in the hospitality industry. She is the current CEO of the luxury hotel and duty-free giant Hotel Shilla. Under her guidance, the hotel has experienced a significant growth trajectory.

Hotel Shilla, founded in 1973, is part of the Samsung Group. Lee Boo-jin took the reins in 1996, and has since then transformed it into a leading global hospitality company. Through her, Hotel Shilla has established a strong presence not just in Korea, but across Asia and beyond.

3. She’s a Philanthropic Leader

Lee Boo-jin is an avid philanthropist. Her charitable endeavours focus on helping disadvantaged children and youth, both domestically and abroad. Through various programmes and grants, she’s provided a much-needed lifeline to many underprivileged individuals.

Under her guidance, Hotel Shilla has also partaken in philanthropy. They’ve sponsored art exhibitions, restoring cultural assets, and hosted events for underprivileged children. From this, it is clear that her leadership goes beyond business interests and extends to societal welfare.

4. She’s a Strong Advocate for Women in Business

In a society traditionally dominated by men, Lee Boo-jin has broken many barriers. As a top businesswoman in a patriarchal society, she encourages other women to strive and achieve similar feats, thereby promoting gender equality in business.

Boo-jin empowers women by offering them opportunities for employment and advancement within her organisation. By doing so, she hopes to build a more inclusive business space where gender or background do not limit one’s potential.

5. She Has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration

Lee Boo-jin’s successful career isn’t merely a product of inheritance. She pursued a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Ewha Womans University. Hence, her success is a mix of excellent education and personal hard work.

Her degree clearly aligns with her life’s work. The skills and knowledge gathered from her studies certainly explain her strong leadership and business acumen, clearly exhibited in her role at Hotel Shilla.

6. She Lives a Private Life

Despite her high-profile position, Lee Boo-jin is known for her private lifestyle. She keeps a low profile and prefers to stay out of the limelight, a rarity in the world of celebrity CEOs.

Her personal life is seldom a topic for public discussion. She believes in maintaining a clear boundary between her professional and personal life, ensuring that the public respects her private space.

7. Her Successor could be her Son

Lee Boo-jin has a son, Lee Seung-jin, who joined Hotel Shilla in 2016. There has been speculation that Lee Boo-jin might be grooming her son to take over her role in the company, thus keeping the leadership within the family.

This is merely conjecture at this point as no official announcements have been made. Regardless, the idea is a possibility given the tradition of family-run conglomerates in South Korea.

8. She’s an Art Lover

An avid art enthusiast, Lee Boo-jin is known for her love for fine arts. Her office at Hotel Shilla is adorned with various pieces of art, reflecting her rich taste.

Her passion for art extends beyond her personal collection. Under her leadership, Hotel Shilla sponsors numerous art exhibitions and cultural events, ensuring that art is not just restricted to the upper echelons of society.

9. She has Siblings in the Same Business

Lee Boo-jin isn’t the only one in her family in the world of business. She has a younger brother, Lee Jae-yong, who is the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics. However, as business leaders, both siblings maintain separate paths.

While her brother leads Samsung Electronics, Boo-jin heads up their hospitality business. Interestingly enough, their individual strengths have allowed them to successfully run their respective divisions.

10. She is a Pioneer in Korean Duty-Free Shopping

Lee Boo-jin laid the groundwork for luxury duty-free shopping in South Korea. Expanding Hotel Shilla’s duty-free shops, she made luxury goods easily available for tourists, playing a key role in promoting Korea’s tourism.

Her influence and vision have greatly impacted shopping trends in South Korea. The Shilla Duty-Free now stands in the top ranks of its industry, thanks in large part to her innovative and forward-thinking leadership.

Discover more about Lee Boo-jin here:
Wikipedia, Forbes, and Shilla Duty-Free.