Hong Kong's longest standing chief executive officer, David Li, has announced that he will step down after a 38-year reign

Tatler 500 Lister David Li has announced that he will step down as CEO at Bank of East Asia Ltd. after 38 years, making him the longest-standing chief executive officer of a major Hong Kong-listed company.

Li—who holds the Grand Bauhinia Medal—first joined Bank of East Asia in 1969, before being appointed CEO in 1981 and finally named chairman in 1997. During his tenure, Li helped carry the company through some of Hong Kong’s stormiest days as a global financial hub; from the Asian financial contagion to Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997 followed by a seven-year property bust.

In November 2018, Li had originally announced that he would stay in his role until March 2021, but he revealed just yesterday that as of July 1 this year, his sons Adrian Li, 46, and Brian Li, 45, will assume the roles of co-CEOs.

Adrian and Brian Li are currently executive directors and deputy chief executives of the bank.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that Li is retiring—after all, his family does own the bank, and he has received a three-year extension as executive chairman until 2022. 

See also: Lee Shau-kee To Retire: 5 Things To Know About Hong Kong’s Second Richest Man