Cambodia Investment Review

NagaCorp Appoints Chen Lip Keong’s Sons in Key Roles Amid 2024 Leadership Reshuffle

NagaCorp Appoints Chen Lip Keong’s Sons in Key Roles Amid 2024 Leadership Reshuffle

Cambodia Investment Review

NagaCorp, the prominent Cambodian gaming group, has announced significant changes to its executive leadership. The recent dismissal of CEO – Finance and Treasury, Chen Cherchi, one of the sons of the company’s late founder, Chen Lip Keong, has raised eyebrows within the industry, according to a report by Asia Gaming Brief.

Chen Cherchi’s departure, effective from May 16th, follows nearly six months after the passing of his father, Chen Lip Keong, in December last year. Chen Lip Keong was a pivotal figure in the company’s growth and success, holding the CEO and Executive Director roles before transitioning to Senior Chief Executive Officer in 2022 as part of a planned leadership handover.

Streamline Its Internal Governance & Management Structure

Daniel Li, a technical expert for the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMC), expressed surprise at Chen Cherchi’s dismissal. “The sudden termination of a senior executive holding sensitive portfolios such as Finance and Treasury operations was very surprising. It is difficult to speculate as to why the board would have reached this decision, especially after the announcement that Chen Cherchi holds 6.6 percent of NagaCorp,” Li commented to Asia Gaming Brief.

Read More: NagaCorp CEO and Founder Dr. Chen Lip Keong Dies, Triggers Leadership Shift and Stock Price Drop

NagaCorp holds a casino monopoly concession in Phnom Penh, where it operates the NagaWorld complex. The company’s executive reshuffle appears to be part of a broader strategy to streamline its internal governance and management structure. In an official statement, the NagaCorp Board of Directors noted that it “periodically reviews the composition of and the delegated function and work tasks to the senior management,” aiming to “streamline internal corporate governance and management structure” and effectively carry out the group’s business strategies.

NagaCorp Stock Trading Approx. 50% Down From Its Highs in 2019.

The Sakai Trust, a family trust established by Chen Lip Keong, currently holds directly or indirectly about 69.26 percent of NagaCorp. Filings by NagaCorp Ltd in Hong Kong reveal that Chen Yiy Fon, another of Chen Lip Keong’s sons, is entitled to around 368 million shares, representing approximately 8.3 percent of the company. He is also an Executive Director at NagaCorp, alongside Philip Lee Wai Tuck.

The remaining four sons hold around 291 million shares each, or around a 6.6 percent stake each. These positions underscore the family’s continued significant influence within the company.

Next Phase Of Growth, Continuing The Strategic Vision

Chen Yiy Fon, previously serving as the CEO of Operations, has been re-designated as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective from December 10, 2023. This move follows the passing of his father and reflects the Board’s commitment to ensuring leadership stability. Chen Yiy Fon’s role as CEO of Operations since April 2022 positions him well to lead NagaCorp into its next phase of growth, continuing the strategic vision set by his father.

“The Board has acted to ensure leadership stability by appointing Mr. Chen Yiy Fon as the new CEO. His prior experience within the company and his alignment with his father’s vision make him well-suited to guide NagaCorp forward,” the company’s statement read, as reported by Asia Gaming Brief.

Chen Lip Keong’s passing marked the end of a significant chapter in NagaCorp’s history. Over his 28-year tenure, he was instrumental in transforming the company into a major player in the casino-resort industry. His entrepreneurial skills and strategic vision drove the company to remarkable growth, establishing a robust foundation and navigating it through various market challenges.

As NagaCorp moves forward under new leadership, the company’s strategic focus and family-driven approach remain at the forefront. The recent executive changes signal a commitment to preserving Chen Lip Keong’s legacy while adapting to new challenges and opportunities in the gaming industry.

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