HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - HNA Group Co, the once-acquisitive Chinese conglomerate, said that its co-chairman Wang Jian died after an accident on Tuesday (July 3) in France. He was 57.
Mr Wang had a fall during a business trip in Provence, France, HNA said in a statement. It didn't provide further details about Mr Wang's sudden death.
"HNA Group extends deepest condolences to Mr Wang's family and many friends," HNA said in a statement distributed by Business Wire.
"Together, we mourn the loss of an exceptionally gifted leader and role model, whose vision and values will continue to be a beacon for all who had the good fortune to know him, as well as for the many others whose lives he touched through his work and philanthropy."
Witness accounts indicated that the death of Mr Wang was an accident, police said on Wednesday.
“He stood on the edge of a sharp drop to get his family to take a picture of him and fell,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Hubert Meriaux of the Vaucluse gendarmerie force, adding that Mr Wang fell 15m off a wall.
“Witness accounts point to a likely accident,” Lt-Col Meriaux said, adding that an autopsy would be carried out to determine the cause of death.
Mr Wang owned about 15 per cent of HNA, according to the group's last update of its ownership structure.
He obtained an undergraduate degree in Aviation Management from Civil Aviation University of China in 1983, and a master's degree in business administration from Holland Maastricht School of Management in 1995. In 1990, he helped establish Hainan Provincial Airlines Co. and was one of the founders of the group.