, China

Haidilao’s billionaire co-founder steps down as CEO

The announcement comes as the chain prepares to post its first loss since at least 2015.

Haidilao announced its billionaire founder Zhang Yong has stepped down as its chief executive officer, as the Chinese hotpot restaurant chain anticipates a loss in profits.

Yang Lijuan, the deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer of the company, was redesigned as the CEO, according to an exchange filing.

Yong, co-founded the chain in 1994, will retain his role as chairman and executive director to guide and supervise the group’s operations and to formulate its long term strategies.

Haidilao separately appointed new chiefs for its China and overseas operations.

The Chinese hotpot restaurant chain warned last month that the group will incur a net loss of 3.8 billion yuan to 4.5 billion yuan (US$713 million) for the year ended December 31, 2021.

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