Michael Ying

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Michael Ying
Native name 邢李㷧
Born Ying Lee Yuen
Residence Hong Kong
Net worth US$2.5 billion (2011)[1]

Flora Cheong-Leen (m. 1986–88)

Lin Ching Hsia (Brigitte Lin) (m. 1994)
Children Claudine Ying (b.1987)
Ying Oi Lam (b.1996)
Ying Yin Oi (b.2001)

Michael Ying or Ying Lee Yuen (Chinese: 邢李㷧; born December 1949) is a self-made billionaire, Hong Kong business magnate, leader and philanthropist. Ying is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Esprit Holdings Limited.

Ying is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people and is ranked #15 in the Forbes Hong Kong's 50 Richest. Ying left the commercial world at the peak of his career in the retail world, and ventured into his philanthropic career.

During his career at Esprit, Ying held the positions of CEO and Chairman of the board, and remained the largest individual shareholder, with a 15% stake. Ying steadily reduced his majority stake in the company in recent years, pocketing more than $2 billion along the way.

In the later stages of his career, Ying pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations as well as upstarting his very own family foundation that benefits medical and educational related initiatives. The foundation was founded in 2006 and is now formally recognized as the Yanai Foundation.

Early life[edit]

Ying was born in Hong Kong in 1949. His father and his family had originated from Wenchang Hainan, China.

Ying came from humble beginnings and is considered a self-made man. His began his career in the earlier years as an ordinary laborer in the manufacturing garment factory, and making his way up to receiving clients such as Esprit. Eventually, by association, Esprit hired Ying as its sole sourcing agent in 1970, being one of the first of their kind to manufacture clothing at that level efficiency and productivity. Esprit Far East Group began operating in the 1970s when its founders Susie and Douglas Tompkins began business with Ying.


In the mid 2000s, Esprit Holdings Limited generated worldwide sales of around EUR 3.25 billion (as of 30.06.2008). Esprit operates in more than 770 retail stores worldwide and distributes products to more than 15,150 wholesale locations around the globe. Esprit has more than 1.1 million square meters of retail space in 40 countries.

The clothier was started in 1968, when Susie and Doug Tompkins sold clothes out of the back of a station wagon in San Francisco. Esprit Far East Group began operating in the 1970s when the couple met Ying.

During Ying's tenure, Esprit's sales surged 30-fold to HK$23.3 billion in the year ended June 2006 from HK$769.7 million in 1993, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ying helped oversee Esprit's global expansion and a sales surge during a 13-year tenure as chairman that ended in 2006.

The former chairman cut his stake after leaving the post, raising $160 million by selling 22.8 million shares in March 2010. He owned 93 million shares, or 4.8 percent, before the latest purchase.

Esprit Holdings Limited (330) jumped in Hong Kong trading after former chairman Michael Ying doubled his stake, fueling speculation the billionaire will help turn the retailer battling a sales slump.

Personal life[edit]

Ying has now dedicated his time to his family, Yanai Foundation, and maintains a low profile in Asia. Ying is known to be a man that is 'one of his kind' - often enjoying the outdoors, diving, golf and exploration.

1986 Ying married Flora Cheong-Leen, a ballerina turned entrepreneur, and together have one child Claudine Ying (born 1987). They were divorced shortly. In 1995, Ying proposed to Lin Ching Hsia (Brigitte Lin), former superstar, and has two children together: Ying Oi Lum (born 1996) and Ying Yin Oi (born 2001).

External links[edit]