China Overseas Land & Investment, the property arm of China State Construction Engineering Corporation, was dealt a blow when CEO Hao Jianmin abruptly resigned earlier this week. The state-owned firm appointed longtime CSCEC employee Xiao Xiao as its new CEO in an announcement made to the stock exchange.
After 29 years with the state-run giant, Hao’s last day with COLI was November 15th, according to the company’s statement which was dated the same day. The Hong Kong-listed developer did not provide a reason for the 51-year-old chief executive’s departure.
The news comes as a surprise considering COLI is in the midst of acquiring CITIC Group’s mainland residential development business. In March, the two sides agreed to a RMB31 billion ($4.8 billion) deal that would see COLI acquire nearly all of CITIC’s residential sites in China. However, the resignation of Hao could make completing that deal more difficult.
Hao’s departure also comes less than a month after COLI reported that operating profit had more than doubled thanks to strong home sales. At the time, the homebuilder reported that contracted sales reached HK$171.4 billion ($22 billion) in the nine months of 2016.
The resignation ends Hao’s nine-year tenure as COLI CEO. The Fordham alum first joined the state owned conglomerate in 1987 and had spent time working at CSCEC before moving over to COLI. He will be replaced by Xiao who has been with CSCEC since 1982 focusing on construction and property businesses during his time with the group.