VICE-CHAIRMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CEO
POWER SCORE: 663
POSITION LAST YEAR: 30
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Stanley Ho’s right-hand man for decades
- Joined gaming concession holder STDM in 1976
WITH POWER OVER the SJM stable firmly in the hands of Pansy Ho, Daisy Ho and their allies, one-time factional rival and veteran vice chairman and CEO Ambrose So increasingly represents the end of a transitional period of a company burned by poor fortune, rather than its future.
For the longest time So was a trusted and respected lieutenant to Stanley Ho, but with SJM jettisoning market share and satellite casino networks and being forced to turn to the banks for more bridging finance to see itself through the pandemic, the company must look to a pragmatic future rather than its powerful past.
Few seriously speculate that SJM’s concession re-bid is in doubt, and So will play an important and galvanizing role in the bidding process. He also stands as perhaps the last remaining “peacemaker” between SJM’s factions, having been in the company for 47 years and boasting an intimate knowledge of its inner workings.
But in the longer term, the spectre of Grand Lisboa Palace’s poor opening and a wider lack of supple governance hangs over the company. If So retires from the company after winning a new concession, it will be a fitting and glorious end to a solid, market-shaping career, as well as a critical signal of corporate renewal.
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