Chairman of steel giant Hoa Sen Group wants daughter to take over

By Tat Dat   March 27, 2024 | 12:00 am PT
Chairman of steel giant Hoa Sen Group wants daughter to take over
Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of steelmaker Hoa Sen Group. Photo courtesy of the company
Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of steel giant Hoa Sen Group, plans to bequeath the company to his youngest daughter, a 23-year-old student in Australia, in 7-10 years’ time.

At the annual shareholders meeting earlier this month, Vu and the board of directors discussed who would succeed him, and the latter plumped for his daughter.

The handover would happen when she is ready for the task.

Vu described his daughter as "very honest" and an excellent student who is currently studying for two bachelor’s degrees.

"I never intended to leave the firm to my daughter. She is my child and so I do not want her to bear the burden," he said. "I do not want them to be corrupted by money and fall prey to greed."

She did not want to take over the business and so he had to encourage her to start at a low position at one of the company’s factories to slowly familiarize herself with its operations.

"After 10 years, if she is ready, I will transfer the business to her. Otherwise, I will find another solution."

He also said he would have to put off his previous plans to quit and become a Buddhist monk in 2026-27 until someone could take over from him.

Last year he had said he would bequeath the steelmaker to a non-profit since he did not want to leave it to his heirs in order to teach them the value of hard work and understand the struggles of impoverished people.

But he later recanted, saying a foundation like that would operate just like a business, and that is not what he wants.

He then thought of selling the firm to another wealthy entrepreneur, but after several meetings with the person, who was never identified, he and the board deemed them unsuitable.

What he and the board look for in a chairman is not just the ability to handle a business, but also ethics and responsibility to the community.

"If I sell Hoa Sen now, it would immediately lose its integrity, business ethics and responsibilities."

Founded by Vu in 2001, it is now one of Vietnam’s leading steel enterprises.

It is well-known for its steel sheets, galvanized pipes and plastic pipes, and has recently expanded into construction materials retail.

It has 10 manufacturing plants and nearly 500 offices and stores, and exports its products to 87 countries.

This year it hopes to increase its profits by 13.3-16.7 times to VND400-500 billion (US$16.1-20.1 million) and list a number of subsidiaries.

It also plans to restructure manufacturing and the furniture and construction materials retail chain, Hoa Sen Home.

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