China LNG director quits for 'better remuneration'

March 11, 2020 11:57
The sudden departure of a top executive has prompted China LNG Group Chairman Billy Albert Kan to take on the additional role of company secretary. File photo: HKEJ

If nothing else, one can at least appreciate China LNG Group for its matter-of-factness and honesty as it explains the reasons for a top executive's departure.

Last Friday the firm announced that its executive director and company secretary Lam Yu Yeung has resigned and that chairman Billy Albert Kan Che-kin has assumed the added responsibility of company secretary.

It marked Kan's second appointment to the same position, having previously served as company secretary from December 24, 2018 until February 29, 2019.

But that is not the fun part. In a supplementary announcement on Monday, China LNG said Lam had quit "as he has found another employment with a better remuneration."

Going beyond the standard template deployed in executive departures -- that the person confirmed that he had no disagreement with the board and that he has no matter in relation to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company -- China LNG stated plainly that Lam had left for better pay.

It is not clear how much money Lam was making at China LNG, having come on board just a year ago.

The 31 year-old was made company secretary on February 28, 2019, and was promoted to chief financial officer and the board on September 2 before calling it quits now.

As per the announcement that accompanied his earlier appointment, Lam had over 6 years of experience in the field of accounting, auditing, taxation and secretarial services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Purdue University in the United States and is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Now, is there another reason why Lam wants to leave China LNG despite having received a promotion only six months ago?

Last week China LNG announced that it has appointed a new auditor -- PKF -- after Ernst & Young quit with effect from end-February.

The resignation of E&Y as auditor has, not surprisingly, set off speculation about potential fresh balance sheet troubles at the firm that is involved in the liquefied natural gas distribution business. 

Incidentally, China LNG, whose market capitalization currently stands at around HK$2 billion, has seen its share price get cut more than a third since Lam's promotion in September, and lose more than two-thirds of its value since his first appointment in February 2019.

It appears no one has gained except the executive who has now found another job with better compensation.

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EJ Insight writer