JAKARTA – Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, announced his resignation as chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd on Friday (16/3/2018).
Li brought a story of wealth that made him a hero in a free-wheeling capitalist world. Mr. Li, 89, said he would announce his retirement after the annual general meeting on May 10.
He will give a ‘cloak of power’ to the eldest son named Victor Li, who has long been rumored to inherit a position over him.
Although Hong Kong’s worship of Li Ka-shing and his story has been diminished in recent years, Li remains respected and stepped out of the most prestigious company, covering more than 50 countries and 323,000 employees at the last count.
“Superman,” said a child (13) an apprentice, as quoted from the old Reuters (16/3/2018).
The phrase illustrates Li’s business acumen and success.
“I’ve been working for too long,” Li added casually, wearing a dark suit and striped tie.
He says that the secret to his success is the fruit of self-improvement and constant hard work.
“I always take the straight path,” he said.
“I am very happy and very honored because I have this opportunity.”
However, Li will remain a senior advisor to CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. Meanwhile, Victor, who has been director of group managers for several years, is seen as a suitable hand and can not possibly change direction to replace Li.
During his tenure, Li Ka-shing once accelerated the acquisition of his foreign company to help offset the decline in the value of British business after Brexit.
Through its aircraft carrier CK Hutchison, Li controls the world’s largest container port operator, Canada Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO), one of Europe’s leading telecom operators, and its long-term infrastructure and investment assets in the UK.
“Li Ka-shing is extraordinary, he is a role model, and I take it for granted,” said Stuart Gulliver, a former CEO of HSBC.
He said his current achievement was thanks to the sale of HSBC shares in 1979 to Li at Hutchison Whampoa, which made him the first Chinese conglomerate.
The former CEO of HSBC also praised Li’s succession plan because it is very capable in managing everything. Although, he looked to Victor a bit odd for talking about death when he was in a conglomerate, which is often considered a misfortune.
Strengthening the view that the transition will be smooth, Victor said: “Tomorrow morning when I go to work there will make no difference, [Dad and I] also upstairs neighbors downstairs, how can we not discuss?”