Employees work inside the Country Garden Holdings Co. Forest City Industrialised Building System (IBS) facility in the Iskandar Malaysia zone of Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia. (Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg)

China’s Richest Woman Gets a Promotion at Property Developer Country Garden

(Bloomberg) -- Country Garden Holdings Co. elevated Yang Huiyan, China’s richest woman, to co-chair alongside her father, potentially giving her even more power over the nation’s largest residential developer.

Yang, 37, was Country Garden’s vice chairman. Now, she’ll assist her 64-year-old dad and founding chairman Yeung Kwok Keung in the day-to-day running of the business, helping to oversee strategic investments and new areas including retail, Country Garden said in a Hong Kong exchange filing Friday. Her re-designation will take effect immediately.

Yang is China’s richest woman by virtue of her 57 percent stake in Country Garden, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. She grew up with the company, attending company meetings since she was a teenager and starting as a procurement manager in 2005 after graduating from Ohio State University. Yang stepped into a core management role as vice chairman in March 2012, exchange filings show.

The billionaire inherited her father’s controlling stake in 2005. Additional stakes were acquired from the firm’s three other co-founders in 2006. She became China’s richest woman at age 25, after Country Garden raised $1.65 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering in April 2007. Her younger sister, Ziying, is an executive director.

Most recently, Yang has been overseeing some of the developer’s new business, chairing its Hong Kong-listed property management unit, and its U.S. listed education arm. Earlier this year, Country Garden announced an 80 billion yuan ($11.6 billion) investment into robotics.

Friday’s appointment doesn’t alter Yang’s father’s status as the responsible person providing leadership to and overseeing the operation of the board, Country Garden said in its statement.

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