(Yicai Global) Dec. 9 -- The daughter of the founder and chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha Group has been appointed vice chairman and general manager of the Chinese beverage giant in a move widely seen as preparation for her to succeed her father.
Zong Fuli’s appointment is effective from today, the Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang province-based company said. She will oversee the day-to-day running of the company. Her father, Zong Qinghou, will remain chairman.
39-year-old Zong Fuli is sure to take control of the company, but her father will not fully withdraw yet and will still exert influence on some affairs, food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng told Yicai Global.
Educated abroad, Zong Fuli is familiar with the food and beverage market both in Western countries and in China. She has served as deputy general manager of Wahaha Sales since last March and head of Wahaha’s public relations department since April 2018.
Zong Qinghou founded Wahaha in 1987 and built it into one of the biggest beverage companies in China. However, with growing competition and new sales models, the firm’s sales have slid. Revenue was at a 10-year-low last year at CNY44 billion (USD7 billion), according to the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.
Wahaha has 80 production bases, more than 180 subsidiaries and 30,000 employees nationwide, according to its website.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Kim Taylor