Casino operator NagaCorp Ltd announced on Monday morning before Hong Kong Stock Exchange hours, “with great sadness”, the Friday death of Chen Lip Keong (pictured), the firm’s founder and senior chief executive officer and an executive director.
The firm stated that Mr Chen had died “due to illness”. At the time of the company’s 2022 annual report, issued in March, his age was put at 75.
NagaCorp is the monopoly casino operator in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh via its NagaWorld complex, and had been developing a Russian casino resort, though that construction has been put on hold.
Monday’s statement said Mr Chen had “established a solid foundation” for the group, and that NagaCorp had seen “more than 28 years of steady growth” under his leadership.
It added: “His many years of entrepreneurial, business and managerial experiences had been instrumental to the group’s success.”
The filing also said Chen Yiy Fon, a son of the founder and an executive director of the company, had been redesignated with effect from Sunday (December 10) as the new CEO of the group, meaning he would “assume leadership of the company and… the duties and responsibilities previously held” by his father.
Mr Chen Yiy Fon had since April 5, 2022 served as the CEO – operations at the company.
In July 2022 it had been announced that shares in NagaCorp that were being held either directly or indirectly by the firm’s founder had been transferred to a family trust he established “for the purposes of succession planning”.
News of his death comes soon after Cambodia itself saw a transition in leadership, with the long-standing prime minister, Hun Sen, stepping down after 38 years in power.
Hun Manet, a son of Hun Sen, has now taken on the role as the country’s prime minister.