Stanley Ho steps down from SJM

Stanley Ho, known as the founding father of Macau’s gaming industry, will step down from his position as chairman and executive director of SJM Holdings after the company’s annual general meeting in June.

In a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, SJM said Ho will be appointed as chairman emeritus to acknowledge his contributions to the company.

“Dr. Ho has justifiably been acknowledged as the founding father of Macau’s gaming industry, which has for some time been the largest in the world in terms of revenue,” the filing said. “Under Dr. Ho’s visionary leadership, the company and its subsidiaries achieved a significant growth in the past decade. The board expresses its sincere gratitude to Dr. Ho for his invaluable contributions in building a solid foundation for the company’s continuing growth in the future.”

SJM announced that it would appoint Ho Chiu Fung, Daisy as chairman and executive director to replace her father.

Fok Tsun Ting, Timothy and Deputada Leong On Kei, Angela will be reconfirmed as co-chairmen and executive directors, while So Shu Fai will be vice-chairman, executive director and CEO.

The board also announced that Dr. Chan Un Chan was recommended by the board for election as an executive director.

Ho’s departure from the company marks the end of an era for Macau’s gambling industry. The tycoon was known as the King of Gambling, though he professed never to gamble himself. His company, The Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, controls 20 of Macau’s 38 casinos as well as a string of other business interests that extend his reach into most corners of life, including the Macau Jockey Club, Shun Tak Holdings, which operates the ferries and hydrofoils shipping gamblers into the territory and a stake in Macau’s international airport.

He held a monopoly over the territory’s casino industry for four decades before it was opened to competition in 2002.

Ho was born in Hong Kong in 1921 to the powerful Ho Tung clan. He was the ninth of 13 children and in his early years lived a life of wealth and privilege. However, the great Depression bankrupted his father leaving his family in poverty and two of his brothers committed suicide.

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