"SEOUL — Lee Kun-hee, the man who built Samsung Electronics into a global tech giant, died Sunday with family members including his son and successor at his side, the company said. He was 78.

Samsung did not specify the cause of his death. The ailing leader was incapacitated for years after a 2014 heart attack; son Lee Jae-yong took over running the company. Lee Kun-hee was treated for lung cancer in the late 1990s.

“Chairman Lee was a true visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business,” the company said in a statement.

Under Lee’s three decades of leadership, Samsung Electronics grew from a small television maker into the world’s biggest producer of smartphones, electronic displays and memory chips. He was convicted twice of white-collar crimes, but eventually pardoned in both cases.