Nokia’s Masan Free Trade Zone-based Nokia TMC was largely responsible for transforming the Finnish company from a maker of wires and TV monitors into a global cell phone giant in the 1980s and 1990s. Former Nokia TMC Chairman Lee Jae-wook, who led the company’s sales to more than 100 times and led the “heyday of Nokia mobile phones,” passed away at 7:30 a.m. on the 25th at Changwon Kyungsang University Hospital after battling pneumonia, his family said. He was 83 years old. Born in Seoul in 1941, the deceased graduated from Seoul National University’s electronics department and worked at Daehan Optics and Daehan Electronics (now Daewoo Electronics). He made color TVs in partnership with Japan’s Sharp, and the first microwave oven in Korea. In 1986, he was recruited to become the CEO of Nokia TMC.
Nokia TMC was a 100 percent owned Korean subsidiary of Nokia’s headquarters in Finland, and all of its products were exported. He built the company from a loss-making operation with sales of 20 billion won to a company with annual sales of 3.7 trillion won when he retired in January 2004.
NokiaTMC was a leader in Changwon’s economy after the IMF crisis and held the top spot in global mobile phone market share from 1998 to 2010, but the company closed in 2014 after failing to adapt to the shift to smartphones after the late CEO stepped down.
After retiring from business in 2000 following surgery for throat cancer, he farmed in Hakdong Village, Yeonghak-ri, Jinnuk-myeon, Masan-si, Gyeongnam (now Masan-Happo-gu, Changwon-si), and established the Bonglim Scholarship Foundation. In 2004, he published his autobiography, “Changing the Soul with NOKIA,” and was awarded the Tower of 100 Million Dollar Export in 1992, the Gold Tower Industrial Medal in 2001, and the Order of Finland in 2002. In 2022, the deceased donated all models of cell phones produced by NokiaTMC to Changwon City. He is survived by his wife, Lee Jeong-ja; two sons and one daughter, Lee Young-hwan, Lee Ji-yeon, and Lee Chang-hwan; and a son-in-law, Kim Sung-joon, head of planning at the Bonglim Scholarship Foundation. Special Room 2, Changwon Kyungpook National University Hospital Funeral 스포츠토토존 Home, Binso, 6:30 a.m. on the 27th, officiated by Jang Ji Wallje Sun-young.