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Sea's secretive billionaire CEO opens up after 75% stock crash

Bloomberg
Bloomberg3/14/2022 11:43 AM GMT+08  • 6 min read
Sea's secretive billionaire CEO opens up after 75% stock crash
Forrest Li by Bloomberg
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Last Monday, Sea employees were starting their week when an email from CEO Forrest Li arrived. In the 900-word memo, the billionaire adopted a contrite tone, addressing head-on a $150 billion plunge in his company’s value since late 2021.

“This drop is painful, and you might be feeling frustrated, disheartened, or worried about Sea’s future,” the 44-year-old wrote in his email seen by Bloomberg News, sent company-wide the first working day after Sea notched its third-biggest stock decline. “Do not fear: we are in a strong position internally, and we are clear on our next steps. This is short-term pain that we have to endure to truly maximize our long-term potential.”

Li’s missive was unusual and underscores changes underway at the gaming and e-commerce giant. In recent years, with the business growing rapidly, the founder addressed his troops mainly to celebrate key milestones. But after a run of extraordinary setbacks this year -- including India’s abrupt ban of its most popular mobile game -- the company is showing signs of acceding to demands from shareholders and employees for more openness.

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