S’porean Founder of Haidilao to Step Down As CEO after It’s Expected to Lose $820 Million in 2021


You may be familiar with Haidilao hot pot restaurants, but are you with those behind the famous hot pot restaurant chain?

Well, maybe now you will.

Recently, Chinese hot pot restaurant brand Haidilao announced that its founder and CEO Mr Zhang Yong, 52, has relinquished his position of chief executive.

Mr Zhang was born in Sichuan, China, but currently holds Singaporean citizenship.

Yup, bet you didn’t know that the founder of Haidilao’s technically Singaporean.

And although he has stepped down as chief executive, Mr Zhang, a billionaire, will continue to hold the title of chairman and be involved in the company’s long-term strategy planning.

Change in Haidilao’s Leadership

Taking over Zhang’s position will be the 43-year-old former deputy CEO and chief operating officer of the company, Ms Yang Lijuan. Ms Yang has assumed her new position as of 1 March.

Other positions within the company also saw new staff members step up to the plate.

Mr Li Yu, 36, is the new chief operating officer responsible for manning Haidilao’s mainland China operations. On the other hand, Mr Wang Jinping, 38, took over as the chief operating officer overlooking the company’s operations in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and overseas.

Of course, this change didn’t happen because Haidilao has nothing better to do lah.

According to a research note by Citi analysts, this move by Haidilao emphasises its commitment to overhauling management “via bringing forward its senior management transition to accommodate its aggressive store restructuring plan”.

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As some die-hard Haidilao fans may be aware, the company broke the news that they will be shutting 300 stores worldwide in November 2020.

This news comes after the company’s bold move to increase the number of its stores exponentially in the earlier months of 2020.

Additionally, Haidilao also put out an announcement last week that its net loss of 2021 is expected to be 3.8 billion to 4.5 billion yuan (approximately S$820 million to S$968 million).

Most of the net loss is incurred from the closure of its outlets though, meaning that these losses are one-off.

As of Wednesday (2 March) morning, Haidilao’s shares were down by 1.7%. In comparison, the Hang Seng index experienced a dip of 0.9%.


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Featured Image: Sarunyu L / shutterstock.com