If Samsung boss Lee Jae Yong ends up in jail and relinquishes control of the company, his potential replacements include executives running key divisions of the dominant electronics business, as well as a sister - hotel executive Lee Boo Jin. Here's a look at the likely successors:
KWON OH HYUN
Mr Lee could be replaced by Samsung Electronics' co-chief executive officer Kwon Oh Hyun, 64, who leads the semiconductor and display businesses. The successes of those two divisions helped propel Samsung to its best operating profit in three years during the quarter ended Dec 31.
YOON BOO KEUN
Another candidate is Mr Yoon Boo Keun, 63, who heads the consumer electronics unit encompassing TV sets and appliances. "He's part of the trio with Lee and Kwon that have run Samsung Electronics," said Mr Park Ju Gun, president of the Seoul-based corporate watchdog Ceoscore. "Samsung could be run as if that trio were still intact."
LEE BOO JIN
It also would be "natural" for Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun Hee's eldest daughter to be considered, said Mr Chung Sun Sup, who runs corporate researcher Chaebul.com.
Ms Lee, 46, is CEO of the luxury Hotel Shilla chain, which is on track to post revenue growth for a sixth straight year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
She owns 5.5 per cent of Samsung C&T Corp, one of the biggest shareholders in Samsung Electronics.
A daughter taking over Samsung would break with tradition in South Korea, where sons have succeeded fathers at the chaebols that dominate the economy.