China’s hiring site 51job helps CEO accumulate a $1.5b fortune

Shanghai, China. Photo: Hanny Naibaho/Unsplash

The head of China’s hottest job site never has to work again.

Rick Yan, chief executive officer of 51job Inc., has amassed a $1.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Yan, who has never appeared on an international wealth ranking, owns 20.8 percent of the Shanghai-based company, which operates one of the country’s largest online recruiting and human resources businesses.

Its American depositary receipts — the ticker is JOBS — have soared more than 80 percent this year, fueled by surging revenue, which climbed 34 percent to 801 million yuan ($125 million) in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier.

“This better-than-expected top line, plus economies of scale and scope at the core of our business model, resulted in healthy profitability,” Yan said during a May 3 conference call to discuss the financial results.

Yan, 55, was an initial investor in 51job and joined as CEO in 2000. He previously worked at Bain & Co. for 11 years, where he set up the firm’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices, according to a biography on 51job.com. Yan received engineering and philosophy degrees from the University of Hong Kong, and an MBA from France’s Insead.

A company spokeswoman said Yan declined to comment on his net worth.

The company’s range of online recruitment and human-resources services is “compelling,” particularly as client budgets grow, Ryan Roberts, an MCM Partners analyst who has a buy rating on the stock, wrote in an April research note.

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Bloomberg