New Bing Lee CEO committed to tradition
Friday, February 8, 2008/
Lionel Lee, the new CEO of Bing Lee, has expressed his commitment to keeping the business family owned and adhering to the philosophies of his father and grandfather.
He told Current.com.au there were no plans to sell or float the business or to make major changes.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said, adding that his biggest priority was to keep the staff happy.
Earlier this week Lionel farewelled his father Ken Lee, who was co-founder and chairman of the business, at a public memorial service held at Sydney Town Hall.
Chinese immigrants Ken Lee and his father Bing Lee opened the first Bing Lee store in Fairfield, Sydney in 1957. They sold TVs and did installations and repairs.
They expanded through New South Wales in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s by adding new products and stores and offering finance to new migrants. He took control when his father died in 1987, and later bought out his sister and brother and started franchising in 2000.
In an interview for the BRW Rich List in 2006 he said: “I like to grow slowly through good foundation. I went through a lot in my time. I don’t want to risk it.”
The peasant boy from rural China made a fortune. In 2006 he debuted on the BRW Rich 200 list with $203 million. In 2006 his wealth was estimated at $225 million.
Bing Lee is now a big electrical retailer with 35 stores located from Canberra to Port Macquarie. In 2007 the chain’s sales came close to $400 million (ex-GST).
With Inside Retailing