Samsung's board chairman is not involved in day-to-day business operations but chairs a board meeting to review and approve major business decisions including investment plans.
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Samsung Electronics said on Friday that former finance minister, Bahk Jae-wan, has become its new board chairman after his predecessor was jailed for union-busting activities.
Bahk, 65, has served as an outside director since March 2016 and "has a deep understanding of the company and the board," Samsung said in a statement.
It added that the appointment, which is effective immediately, would enhance the board's independence and management transparency.
"He has a wealth of experience as an administrator...and is expected to lead the board's strategic decisions," the statement said.
The company plans to hold its annual shareholder meeting on March 18, where shareholders will vote on proposals for its two new board nominees.