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Sportswear brand Li Ning CEO steps down
06
Jul '12
Li Ning Company Limited, a leading sports brand enterprise in China announced changes to its management team and the appointment of a new board member, along with a new go-forward plan to improve the Group's performance and position Li Ning for profitable, sustainable growth.

Management Team

Mr. Zhang Zhiyong has stepped down as the Group's Chief Executive Officer with effect from 4 July 2012. The Board is grateful for the efforts of Mr. Zhang who led the Group's development into a leading Chinese sportswear brand. The Board and Mr. Zhang agreed mutually that bringing in new leadership is the right thing to take the Group to this next phase of its development.

At the same time, Mr. Zhang has also ceased to be a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. He will, however, continue to serve as an Executive Director and chief advisor to the Group's Executive Committee to ensure a smooth transition for the new future CEO. A search is now underway for this position, and in the meantime, the Group will be led by Mr. Li Ning, Founder and Executive Chairman, and Mr. Jin-Goon Kim, Executive Vice Chairman.

Mr. Li will focus primarily on external affairs, such as the new relationship with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Mr. Kim will be primarily responsible for internal affairs and operations, as well as driving the Group's transformation during this transition. Mr. Kim has extensive experience gained serving as CEO or General Manager of several leading consumer and retail companies in Asia. He has a successful track record of driving transformation of consumer and retail companies in South Korea and China, including Dell Korea, China Grand Auto and Daphne.

Board of Directors

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Samuel Su as an independent non-executive director. Mr. Su is the Chairman and CEO of the China Division of YUM! Brands, Inc. and serves as an executive director and the vice chairman on Yum!'s board of directors, a leading restaurant group with well-known brands including Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and Little Sheep. With over 20 years of experience managing one of the leading consumer and retail franchises in China, Mr. Su enhances the Board's expertise in retail and consumer markets in China.

The new Board composition not only adds deep industry knowledge and expertise but also demonstrates the Group's commitment to good corporate governance, by meeting best practice guidelines of having over one-third of its directors as independent non-executive directors.

Mr. Li Ning, Executive Chairman of the Group, commented, "The Board is pleased to welcome Mr. Kim and Mr. Su on board. We will continue strengthening our management team and recruiting new talent with relevant experience, to ensure that we are able to execute our plans. We are determined to develop LI-NING into a world-class sports brand, a brand that is fundamentally anchored on sports values and sports essence. I, together with Mr. Kim and the management team, are committed to bringing the Group to reach this goal."

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