(Yicai Global) Dec. 4 -- Wu Xiangdong has resigned from his position as chief executive of state-owned China Resources Land to become vice president of private rival China Fortune Land Development.
The move confirms rumors that began circulating several months ago and were denied by both companies.
Once Wu joins China Fortune, the firm will set up a new head office at the Ping An International Finance Center, a company insider told Jiemian news. Wu will head up a business unit including health and pensions, long-term rental apartments and other sectors, the source added.
Ping An Insurance spent CNY13.8 billion (USD2 billion) on a 19.7 percent stake in China Fortune five months ago to become its second-largest shareholder, a deal that sparked rumors that China Fortune would poach three executives from China Resources Land. Yu Jian, former chief financial officer, has already made that switch.
Wu, 50, had been with China Resources Land since 1993 and took the helm as chairman in 2013, according to state-backed news site The Paper. He stepped down in November 2014 and became CEO, a change speculators suggested may have links to the parent company's then Chairman Song Lin, who was charged with corruption and bribery.
Regulators began investigating Song for alleged serious violation of laws and regulations -- better known as graft -- in April 2014. He was charged with corruption and bribery in June last year and sentenced to 14 years in prison after taking over CNY23 million (USD3.4 million) in bribes.
Tang Yong, former vice chairman of China Resources Land, will take on Wu's role, but the company did not mention anything about its chairman vacancy, a spot which has remained empty since Wu became CEO.
Editor: James Boynton