Tuesday, December 1, 2015   

Exec leaves Ajisen after expose

Karen Chiu

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ajisen China Holdings (0538) chief operating officer Joseph Lau Si-sing stepped down just two months into the job after errors in the announcement revealing his appointment were exposed.

Hong Kong's leading Japanese-style noodle chain said yesterday Lau had left the firm by mutual consent.

The news comes just five days after shareholder activist David Webb lashed the company's announcement of Lau's appointment.

On July 18, Ajisen announced that Lau, who it said had graduated from the prestigious California Institute of Technology, had become its new COO. The announcement did not mention that Lau was convicted of graft in 2009 and was subsequently imprisoned.


The next day, Ajisen issued another statement, saying the former managing director of McDonald's (Hong Kong) was convicted in April 2009 for taking advantages from a supplier whom he asked to lie to investigators. He served a jail term and was released in June 2011.

Last Tuesday, Webb wrote in his blog that Lau, 53, was unable to complete his university degree.

The prominent shareholder activist also wrote that Lau's sentence was actually four years and three months and should have expired on July 15, 2013, just three days before Ajisen's first announcement.

Lau was presumably released on probation after serving half his time, Webb wrote.

In addition to Lau's stepping down as COO, Ajisen yesterday said that he was not a university graduate.

"It was mainly caused by insufficient communication between Lau and the staff of our human resources department and translation error," it said.

It also said Lau was sentenced to four years five months in jail. Two months were cut on appeal and Lau was granted early release on June 1, 2011.

By then, Lau was ordered to repay his former employer HK$2.3 million he accepted from suppliers as bribes.

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