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Ocean Park Welcomes Lau Ming-wai as New Chairman and
Appoints Ysanne Chan as New Chief Executive

2020-06-26

Ocean Park Welcomes Lau Ming-wai as New Chairman and Appoints Ysanne Chan as New Chief Executive

(Hong Kong, 26 June 2020) Ocean Park welcomes Lau Ming-wai as its new Chairman. Lau has served as a member of Ocean Park Corporation (OPC)’s Board of Directors since 2008 and was appointed the Deputy Chairman in 2014. Ysanne Chan is appointed as the new Chief Executive of Ocean Park for a term between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021. Chan, currently the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of the Park, will succeed Matthias Li who is retiring on 1 July 2020. 
 
Ocean Park expresses its deepest gratitude to Leo Kung, GBS, JP for his leadership as Chairman over the past six years, laying a solid foundation for the Park’s future transformation. The Park would also like to thank Matthias Li for his dedication and many contributions to the Park and the industry over the years, and wishes him a happy retirement.
 
In addition, Ocean Park would like to express its appreciation to Jason Wong, who is retiring from the Board of Directors, for his service over the years.
 
Lau Ming-wai said, “I am honoured to be appointed as the Chairman of Ocean Park. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Mr Leo Kung and Mr Matthias Li, who – among the many things they initiated at the Park – have led Ocean Park’s repositioning study, paving the way to a redefined future for the Park. I will continue to work closely with other Board members, Ysanne and the Park’s management team, to assist the Government to rethink on Ocean Park’s way forward.”
 
“With over 28 years of experience at Ocean Park, Ysanne has been crucial in helping the Park overcome a number of massive business challenges, such as the financial crisis in 1998 and the SARS outbreak in 2003. It is clear that she can uphold the beliefs and core values of Ocean Park, and is also highly trusted by her colleagues. When we consider how the Park has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ysanne’s leadership will undoubtedly bolster staff morale, and spur unity and collaboration to promote the future development of Ocean Park,” continued Lau. “With her expertise in financial planning and unrivalled understanding of the Park’s operations, the Board is confident that under Ysanne’s direction, the Park will implement effective measures to optimise the use of resources and maximise revenue opportunities during this critical time.”
 
Leo Kung joined the Board of Directors at OPC in 2003, and was appointed the Park’s Chairman in July 2014. Kung has overseen the Park’s evolution from a traditional theme park to a premier international resort destination, including the embarkation of the Water World project, the opening of Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, and the commencement of The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong development.
 
The tourism industry in Hong Kong has undergone a structural change since 2015. By elevating the Park’s new business structure and appealing to new target markets, such as through the launch of new night-time retail, dining and entertainment offerings, Kung was the driving force behind the increase in the proportion of local visitors coming to the Park, the surge of FIT visitors by nearly 40%, and the increase in visitor in-park spending by more than 30% over the past few years. 
 
“I am honoured to have served Ocean Park for 17 years.  I am truly thankful for the tremendous support the Park’s 2,000 staff members have shown me throughout the years,” said Leo Kung. “Their dedication and hard work has made Ocean Park one of Hong Kong’s most important home-grown brands, as well as a highly regarded conservation and education hub in Asia Pacific. Ming-wai is young, energetic and visionary. He has a genuine passion for Hong Kong and Ocean Park, and is well positioned to lead the Park to a successful relaunch. I am confident that the Park is poised for its next transformation.”
 
Matthias Li joined Ocean Park in 1994 and has supervised many iconic projects during his tenure. Highlights include the inauguration of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) in 1995 and the establishment of Ocean Park Academy in 2004. He also led the Park to become the first theme park and animal facility outside North America to be certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Ocean Park Veterinary Centre becoming a designated training clinic for Hong Kong’s veterinary practice with approval from the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Hong Kong. Li has also fully promoted in situ and ex situ conservation, facilitated scientific research collaborations on giant pandas and aquatic wildlife in China, and introduced ecotours to Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan.
 
Matthias Li said: “I am very gratified that Ysanne Chan has become the new Chief Executive of Ocean Park. Working alongside the Park’s staff throughout these years, Ysanne has won their trust and respect. She is an enlightened leader who is good at listening and accepts others’ ideas. Together, we will ensure there is a smooth transition process in place. I wish Ysanne much success and I am confident that she will open up a glorious new chapter in the Park’s history.”
 
“I am honoured by the trust bestowed on me by the Board to lead Ocean Park. I will do my utmost to lead the team to accomplish the Park’s mission on education and conservation through a variety of edutainment experiences that connect our visitors with nature,” said Ysanne Chan. “Ocean Park is deep-rooted in Hong Kong. We will continue to be a community-minded organisation, delivering offers and benefits that cater to the needs of the different communities in our city. Ocean Park has great potential for further development, and my first task will be to work closely with the Board and the Government to create a new direction for the Park, and bring a refreshed Ocean Park to both Hongkongers and visitors to the city.”