On April 7th last year, Yu Minhong published a weekly diary on “Lao Yu Chat”, in which he said: “For the past two years, there has been a voice inside me calling out to me, urging me to set off with my backpack, or it will be too late… The meaning of life can only be reflected in self-realization. I have always felt that New Oriental is not the purpose of my existence in this world, or at least not the most important one. I have devoted myself to New Oriental for thirty years. Perhaps, now is the time for me to stand back a little and re-examine New Oriental and myself. Of course, I am not saying that I will not work for New Oriental anymore, but how to make New Oriental develop better at a higher level, and how to give myself more room to move.”
On June 19, 2022, he said in a live broadcast: “The real success of New Oriental is that one day when I leave New Oriental and do not serve as the chairman, or even participate in any decision-making, New Oriental will still be moving forward along the path I want, still striving to provide perfect services for children wholeheartedly. I think this is real success. So, in order for this day to come earlier, I will keep stepping back.”
As the New Year of 2023 approaches, Yu Minhong revealed that his New Year’s wish is to leave more time for himself, including reading, recitation, writing, traveling, interviewing, exercising, relaxing and socializing, while maintaining the development of New Oriental.
To leave more time for himself, Yu Minhong is currently accelerating his thinking on the issue of New Oriental’s succession.
Regarding corporate succession, many first-generation entrepreneurs tend to pass on their businesses to their children. But Yu Minhong’s situation is obviously different. Although he has a son and a daughter (his son is still in university), neither child has expressed a clear willingness to take over.
“Because my children have not really expressed their desire to join New Oriental, and New Oriental is already a large company with almost all of its shares held by the public, so there is no question of second-generation succession for me, but there is a question of selecting a successor.” On April 25th, while Liu Yonghao and his daughter Liu Chang were guests on the Dongfang Zhenxuan live broadcast, Yu Minhong jokingly said, “But people like Dong Yuhui can still be considered for the future succession.”