‘Still young’ – Fosun Group’s Guo Guangchang says retirement is not on the cards
Founder of conglomerate responds to reports by mainland media through WeChat post
Guo Guangchang, founder and chairman of the Chinese conglomerate that owns the Club Med resorts chain, said on Friday he was “still young” and would not consider retiring yet.
In a WeChat posting. the self-made billionaire urged people to focus on the Singles’ Day shopping festival instead of his work status. “I am still young and don't want to retire yet,” he said.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post in September, 50-year-old Guo said he wanted to work another 15 years and further develop the Fosun Group empire built by him.
Guo’s statement came after media on the mainland reported heavily about his resignation from the chief executive’s post at one of Fosun's wholly owned subsidiaries, Shanghai Fosun High Technology (Group), which mainly manufactures steel and steel products. In a statement regarding Guo’s resignation, the company said he would focus more on the business of its parent company, Fosun Group, and that it wished this reshuffle would give its young management team more opportunities and bigger responsibility.
Chen Qiyu, 45, the current executive director and co-president of Fosun Group, will take over as the chief executive of the subsidiary, according to the statement.
Starting out with real estate developments and pharmaceuticals in 1992, the Fosun Group has become one of the country’s largest private conglomerates in the past 25 years. As one of five founders, Guo is currently ranked 22nd on Forbes’ China Rich List.
Guo has been called “China’s Warren Buffett” after the tycoon said he was inspired by Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, seeing how cash-rich insurers could fund long-term equity investments.
Fosun went into aggressive overseas expansion and investment starting in 2010, and now owns Club Med, a 9.5 per cent stake in jewellery and fashion accessories brand Folli Follie and a minority stake in entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, among others. It also has a joint venture with global travel company Thomas Cook.