This provision could deprive the world's first smart-phone maker of leadership for a period and undermine its ability to make basic investment decisions.
The prosecution had asked for 12 years of imprisonment for Lee Jae Yong, vice-president of Samsung, and the son of the group's chairman Li Cong.
Li, 49, arrived at the court in Seoul Central Province in a dark dress with handcuffed hands.
He was found guilty of corruption, exploitation of the company's property, false testimony and other charges for the payment of bribes or promises of bribes of 5.32 million euros to his ex-girlfriend, Choi Sun Sil.
The court considered that Samsung had received political concessions in return, especially the Government's support for the company's transition to Li after his father had a heart attack in 2014.
Li was accused of buying the approval of the public authorities for a controversial merger of two units in 2015, which was considered a key phase for a smooth transition of power at the top of the group pyramid.
In return, the defense said that Samsung bowed to the pressure of the former president and paid the money only under pressure and coercion, and that Li was unaware of these transfers and did not approve them. Four other cadres were also sentenced to prison terms of up to four years. My advisors announced their intention to appeal the verdict.