(Yicai Global) May 12 -- Zhu Rongbin, associate president of leading Chinese property developer Country Garden Holdings Co. [HK:2007], will leave the company on June 1, 2017.
Zhu, who is also Country Garden's executive director, has resigned as he needs to spend more time with his family and take care of it, the firm said yesterday.
Those not directly privy to company secrets believe Zhu left because of the group's stalling growth in first-tier cities. The company did not directly respond to this claim and simply thanked Zhu for his contribution to the firm.
Several real estate firms have witnessed executive changes this year, and Zhu's resignation has pushed the latest wave of the shuffle to a new height.
As the property market adjusts, professional managers will be under an increasing amount of pressure from performance evaluation, which will lead to added executive turnover at major companies, a real estate observer said, Zhu will not be the only senior executive to leave his post in the industry this year, the observer said.
Zhu is set to join another top 10 real estate firm and will be in charge of its land investment business, one source said.
Zhu, who had worked for China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. [HKG:688] and Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. [HKG:2777], is a renowned professional manager in the domestic property sector. He joined Country Garden in 2013 to serve as its executive director and associate president and head the group's investment business. Country Garden has developed rapidly since then. Its annual sales jumped to CNY300 billion (USD43.5 billion) last year.
Country Garden set up an independent unit to grow its business in first-tier cities in 2015. Zhu, who leads the unit, had hoped to expand the company's land reserve in first-tier cities. "Entering first-tier cities will be an important step in Country Garden's future expansion," Zhu said in an interview back then. Performance in the recent two years suggests that the fiercely competitive first-tier cities have yet to become the company's strategic market.