May 12, 2014 (ISN) – Lee Kun-hee, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and chairman of Samsung Electronics, is recovering after undergoing emergency heart surgery.

The 72-year-old South Korean was admitted to a Seoul hospital after experiencing breathing difficulties last night and had to be resuscitated as his heart stopped.

He was then transferred to the Samsung Medical Centre, where he underwent the operation but is now said to be in a stable condition.

“Emergency measures were properly performed, his health isn’t in a critical situation,” a Samsung spokesperson said.

Lee, who was hospitalised with symptoms of light pneumonia last August, has a history of respiratory system problems since undergoing surgery for lung cancer in the 1990s.

He is South Korea’s richest man, with Forbes estimating his net worth to be about $10 billion (£6 billion/€7 billion).

His son Jay Lee, the Samsung Electronics vice-chairman who interrupted his trip to the United States to rush back to see his father, is expected to eventually succeed him as chairman of Samsung, while his other children hold senior positions in the firm.

Samsung is said to be in emergency mode, with all top Samsung executives including its corporate strategy office head Choi Gee-sung, visiting the hospital.