Television Broadcasts Ltd.’s 104-year-old co-founder Run Run Shaw will retire as chairman after more than 40 years at Hong Kong’s biggest television company.
Shaw will step down Dec. 31 and be replaced by Executive Deputy Chairman Norman Leung, 71, who will become chairman Jan. 1, the company known as TVB said in a filing yesterday.
TVB accounted for more than 80 percent of Hong Kong’s free-to-air television market by advertising sales in 2009, according to consultant Media Partners Asia. It is one of the world’s biggest producers of Chinese-language programming, distributing shows in more than 40 countries, according to its website.
Shaw, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, was also a producer behind the 1982 hit movie Blade Runner. He set up Hong Kong’s dominant free-to-air broadcaster in 1967 after a filmmaking career that started in Shanghai in the 1920s. Chow Yun-fat, Andy Lau and Stephen Chow all acted in dramas produced by TVB before going on to movie stardom.
TVB advanced 0.1 percent to HK$46 at the midday break in Hong Kong trading. The stock has gained 9.5 percent this year, compared with a 17 percent decline for the city’s Hang Seng Index.
The average board member age at TVB is about 70, the oldest for a Hong Kong-listed company, according data compiled by Bloomberg. The company was founded by eight people including Shaw and Lee Hsiao-wo. Lee’s widow, Christina Lee, is a non-executive director.
Shaw’s Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Ltd. sold its 26 percent stake in TVB to ITC Corp. Chairman Charles Chan, Cher Wang and Providence Equity Partners, according to a March 31 filing. Shaw’s foundation donated its 2.59 percent interest in TVB to educational and charitable institutions, according to the statement, which didn’t give price details.
He will be given the title of chairman emeritus following his retirement as chairman, non-executive director and member of the executive committee of the board, TVB said in the filing yesterday. Shaw won’t receive any pay under his new role.