Hutch chairman Li Ka-shing retires at 89 on $12 a week

16 March 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The creator of the Three group of mobile operators and the wholesale carrier formerly called Hutchison Global Communications is to retire at 89.

Li Ka-shing, the chairman of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings, announced today that he will retire on 10 May, at the end of the next annual general meeting.

The board said it “would like to express its sincere gratitude to Mr Li for his invaluable contributions to the group”.

It added: “For the past 46 years, Mr Li has led the CK group as chairman on a steady path of diversification and globalisation through organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, and timely strategic reviews and reorganisations at appropriate junctures to maximise value and returns for shareholders.”

Li, whose 90th birthday is on 28 June 2018, is the 23rd richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $37.7 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

He will stay on as an advisor to the group he created, at an annual fee of HK$5,000 – equivalent to US $637, or about $12.25 a week.

The board has appointed his son Li Tzar Kuoi – alternatively Victor Li – as chairman. The younger Li has worked at the CK Group for 33 years and will continue his present role as group co-managing director.

Li Ka-shing’s younger son, and brother to Li Tzar Kuoi, is Richard Li Tzar Kai, who is chairman of the Pacific Century Group, whose interests include PCCW Global.

The CK Hutchison group sold its interest in the former Hutchison Global Communications in 2017, when a US-based private equity company, I Squared Capital, bought it for $1.9 billion. The group still includes Hutchison Telecoms and Three operations around the world. Hutchison Global Communications has been renamed HGC Global Communications.

The wider CK Group’s businesses now include ports and related services, retail, infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, property development and investment, hotel and serviced suite operation, property and project management, aircraft leasing and life sciences.