Dong Mingzhu (董明珠), one of China's most prominent businesswomen was removed as chairman of Gree Group, but remains the head of its electronics arm, Xinhua reported.
The move was ordered by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Zhuhai city in China's southern Guangdong province, where Gree is based.
Sources with the commission explained that it was a “normal personnel adjustment” as the group usually does not allow a person to serve as both group chairperson and the director of its listed subsidiary.
Dong joined Gree in 1990 as a salesperson and worked her way up to the top. Under Dong, Gree emerged as China's top air-conditioning manufacturer and a major player in the world market. The company's revenue last year was RMB 100 billion.
The outspoken and confident Dong is considered one of the most successful Chinese businesswomen and a leader of China's manufacturing sector.
In 2014, she was named number two of Forbes China List Of Powerful Women.
The sources said Dong's removal from the top of Gree Group "won't affect" the operations of the Shenzhen Stocks Exchange-listed Gree Electric Appliances Inc.