Ken Lee (businessman)

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Ken Lee (Chinese: 李光裕,[1] Pinyin: lǐ guāng yù, 1932 – 21 December 2007) was a Chinese-Australian businessman who co-founded the Bing Lee chain of electronic stores with his father, Bing Lee.[2] He also served as the company's chairman from 1987 until 2007.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ken Lee grew up in a poor rural region of Shandong province in China.[2] Lee and his family, including his father, Bing Lee, fled China after the Communist Revolution when he was just 16.[2] They eventually settled in Australia.

Bing Lee stores[edit]

Ken and his father, Bing Lee, opened their first Bing Lee store in Fairfield, New South Wales in 1957[3] as an electrical sales and repair store.[3] Lee's first job at Bing Lee was as a repairman and salesman.[3] However, he and his father gradually built the Bing Lee chain from its first store into a multi-million dollar retail business.[3]

Bing Lee died in 1987, leaving his son, Ken Lee, as the sole owner and chairman of the Bing Lee company.[2] By 1987, Bing Lee had expanded to 11 stores.[2] There are now over 35 stores located throughout New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, as of 2007.[2] The company now has over 700 employees.[2] According to news reports, Ken Lee knew nearly all of his 700 employees by name.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Lee had a number of personal interests and hobbies. He was an avid golfer, snooker player, fisher and boater.[2]


Lee was married to his wife, Yenda Lee, for 48 years, until his death.[2] The couple had two sons, Lionel and Greg.[2]


Ken Lee died on 21 December 2007, at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, aged 75, from cancer.[3] He was survived by his wife, sons and six grandchildren. His elder son, Lionel Lee, succeeded as head of the company.[2]


External links[edit]