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China technology

Red-hot China job site helps CEO amass a US$1.5 billion fortune

Web site’s array of online recruitment and HR services has become attractive as corporate budgets grow

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 2:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 2:53pm

The head of China’s hottest job site never has to work again.

Rick Yan, chief executive officer of 51job Inc., has amassed a US$1.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Yan, who has never appeared on an international wealth ranking, owns 20.8 per cent of the Shanghai-based company, which operates one of the country’s largest online recruiting and human resources businesses.

Its American depositary receipts – the ticker is JOBS – have soared more than 80 per cent this year, fuelled by surging revenue, which climbed 34 per cent to 801 million yuan ($125 million) in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier.

“This better-than-expected top line, plus economies of scale and scope at the core of our business model, resulted in healthy profitability,” Yan said during a May 3 conference call to discuss the financial results.

Yan, 55, was an initial investor in 51job and joined as CEO in 2000. He previously worked at Bain & Co. for 11 years, where he set up the firm’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices, according to a biography on Yan received engineering and philosophy degrees from the University of Hong Kong, and an MBA from France’s INSEAD.

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A company spokeswoman said Yan declined to comment on his net worth.

The company’s range of online recruitment and human resources services is “compelling,” particularly as client budgets grow, Ryan Roberts, an MCM Partners analyst who has a buy rating on the stock, wrote in an April research note.