SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The son of Samsung Electronics Co.'s chairman has been promoted to president in a reorganization of top management posts at the conglomerate the giant technology company anchors.

Lee Jae-yong, 42, who is being elevated from executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, would retain his chief operating officer title, Samsung Group said in a statement Friday.

Samsung Electronics is a major force in the global electronics industry, where it holds the top spots in memory chips and flat screen televisions and ranks No. 2 in mobile phones behind Finland's Nokia Corp.

The company is also the flagship corporation of the Samsung Group conglomerate, which consists of dozens of other businesses including shipbuilding, construction, leisure and finance.

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee's father founded the Samsung Group in 1938. The move to promote Lee Jae-yong, who also goes by Jay Y. Lee, was widely expected after Lee Kun-hee, 68, said last month that his son was set to move up the ranks.

Investors appeared to welcome the news, sending shares in Samsung Electronics 3.3 percent higher in late morning trading to a record 887,000 won ($775). The announcement came about 30 minutes after trading started Friday.

Samsung Electronics has at least 10 executives with the title of president, according to the group. Lee Jae-yong's promotion, however, has been closely watched given that he is a member of the conglomerate's founding family and widely expected to eventually to succeed his father.

The promotion of Lee and other executives was an "organizational realignment to better prepare for the future in the rapidly changing business environment of the 21st century," the statement said.

Lee Jae-yong "is expected to continue to strengthen the competitiveness of Samsung's strategic businesses and to lay the foundation for Samsung's future new growth businesses," the statement said.

Lee Jae-yong, who has previously served as chief customer officer and vice president for strategic planning, graduated from South Korea's elite Seoul National University with a degree in East Asian history and has an MBA from Japan's Keio University. His father is a graduate of Japan's Waseda University.

The younger Lee's promotion comes as Choi Gee-sung moves up to vice chairman from president while retaining his other title of chief executive officer.