The ousted chairman of family-owned Sun Hung Kai Properties has hit back at family members by saying the real estate company should look outside the family for more suitable leaders.
Walter Kwok, who was replaced by his mother following a disagreement with his two younger brothers in May, said, "Rather than key positions in the company being taken by the family, we should be more inclined to have the most suitable person fulfil the key positions."
His statement to the Financial Times newspaper will do little to quell the animosity between him and his family. After being put on leave on absence, Walter launched an eleventh-hour appeal to the high court to prevent a board meeting scheduled to vote on his removal from taking place.
Although the court overruled the appeal, stating the matter should be sorted out by the family internally, and Walter was removed from the chairmanship, he remains an non-executive director.
"Executive or non-independent directors consist of the majority of the [SHKP] board, so really, at the end of the day, it's the family's view that matters," he told the FT.
Walter became chairman of the $45 billion company in 1990 following the death of his father. His brothers are said to have claimed he was suffering from "bipolar affective disorder" and had tried to get rid of him on mental health grounds. Walter vehemently denies having the disorder and is reportedly suing his brothers for libel.