Chinese home appliance giant Haier Group said on Friday its founder Zhang Ruimin had resigned as chairman of the board. The 72-year-old entrepreneur has been invited to be honorary chairman.
According to the company”s official announcement, during the general election of the eighth Haier Staff Assembly on Friday, Zhang volunteered not to participate in the nomination of new directors. Zhou Yunjie was elected as the new chairman of the board and appointed as CEO. Liang Haishan was appointed as president.
Zhang started to steer Qingdao Refrigerator General Factory—the predecessor to Haier Group—in 1984, when the company posted 3.48 million yuan ($542,600) of revenue and 1.47 million yuan of deficits. Last year, the group recorded its revenue at over 300 billion yuan and contributed more than 40 billion yuan of taxes.
Haier Smart Home, one of the group’s listed companies, ranks among the Fortune Global 500.
Zhang proposed a management model called Rendanheyi in 2005, which has “become a trend during the era of Internet of things,” according to Haier Group, based in Qingdao, Shandong province.
In September, Zhang and Eric Cornuel, president of the European Foundation for Management Development, jointly signed the first certificate of Rendanheyi International Management Innovation Certification System, “making Haier the first Chinese company in establishing an international standard for management models and creating a new era in which Chinese enterprises have capabilities to develop international standards rather than taking others’,” according to the company.
Zhang was also among the 100 Chinese who were awarded the medals of reform pioneers during a grand gathering in December, 2018 to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening-up.
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