Li Hejun Steps Down From Hanergy Thin Film a Year After Slump

  • New chairman, CEO named, solar company shares still suspended
  • CEO Si is accountant and auditor working at Hanergy’s parent

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd., the Chinese solar company whose shares have been suspended amid a probe by market regulators, said its founder and main shareholder Li Hejun resigned as chairman and executive director in a boardroom shakeup designed to improve the way the company is governed.

Li had no disagreement with the board and isn’t quitting for reasons that need to be brought to the attention of regulators, Hanergy said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange Friday. Yuan Yabin, 48, will replace him as chairman and executive director. He currently acts as deputy general director of the company’s parent, Hanergy Holding Group Ltd.

It’s been almost exactly a year since Hanergy’s Hong Kong-listed shares were suspended after the stock collapsed in a half hour of trading, reducing the company’s market value by $19 billion and prompting an investigation by stock market regulators. The plunge made Hanergy an emblem of the froth in China’s stock markets that had made Li, for a time, the nation’s richest man.

Accounting Questions

Questions about Hanergy’s accounting policies and its dependence on its parent company for the majority of sales dogged Li since before the shares were suspended. He controls more than two-thirds of the stock of the listed subsidiary and remains in control of the parent company, Hanergy Holding.

Hanergy Thin Film has been communicating with Hong Kong’s securities regulator, though the company hasn’t been told when the investigation will be concluded or the shares may resume trading, the parent said.

Yuan joined Hanergy’s parent company in 2013. He is president of Alta Devices, a unit of the company, and previously worked for the CPPCC National Committee.

Hanergy Thin Film also named Si Haijian, an executive director of the company since Dec. 21, as chief executive officer. Si is a certified internal auditor and public accountant in China and joined Hanergy Group in 2014.

Dai Frank Mingfang and Feng Dianbo, who are both deputy chairmen, also stepped down.

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