The Daewoosky Institute reported on its website on Tuesday that Kim Woo Choong, the former leader of South Korea’s, second largest conglomerate Daewoo, has died as a result of a chronic illness.
The Daewoosky Institute, an organisation for former employees and managers reported that Kim, who was once considered South Korea’s flagship manager, died at the age of 82.
Kim had laid the foundation for his economic empire in 1967 with $5,000 and a small textile company.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in May 2006 for embezzlement, accounting fraud and other offences.
He had surrendered to the authorities after six years on the run.
In November 2006, an appeal court reduced the sentence to 8.5 years.
As part of the special amnesty, Kim’s prison term was suspended in late 2006 because of his poor health and was pardoned at the end of 2007.
The history of the Daewoo Group and the entrepreneurial biography of its former boss are symbolic of the rapid economic rise of South Korea but also of its unrestrained expansion drive.
The group collapsed in the late 1990s under a debt of about $80 billion.
The country’s second-largest conglomerate at the time had more than 40 affiliates, ranging from cars, electrical goods and household appliances to ships.