Chapter 446: The farewell of a king
The news that Xu Tingsheng would be resigning as Hucheng’s CEO and leaving the company soon spread like wildfire, as if a nuclear bomb had been dropped. In just a mere few days, Xu Tingsheng received calls from many people, including Old Wai and Li Linlin and Tianyi too. A call even came in from Zhang Xingke…
Most frenzied were naught but the reporters who exerted all means to contact Xu Tingsheng through various channels.
The most legendary black horse of China’s business arena in the past two years silently left, departing from Hucheng where he had started out on his career from scratch. There could literally be no scoops more newsworthy than that, no topic more gossip-worthy than that.
Everyone was speculating on this massive upheaval occurring within the company.
Was it related to certain people? Was it related to money? Was it related to Xingchen’s crisis? ...Some more observant ones felt that it might be related to love. Having found that the succeeding CEO would be Lu Zhixin, those rumours would naturally come to mind.
Xu Tingsheng rejected the interviews of the media. As for everyone else, he would patiently explain:
Due to lacking of energies, I will be temporarily leaving Hucheng. Whatever it is, no matter when, I will always be a part of Hucheng. All my companies are joined on united ground with Hucheng, and I will support Zhixin fully. I hope that you will give her your full support, everyone.
“Is this related to some internal conflict?”
“Disloyalty in the relationship?”
However Xu Tingsheng tried to explain, no one fully believed him as various malicious rumours started spreading outside. An air of uncertainty was even predominant within Hucheng itself.
Granted, they were already used to Lu Zhixin being the one managing Hucheng on a daily basis. Still, looking back on Hucheng’s rise to prominence, they would inevitably feel an inexplicable reliance on Xu Tingsheng that was akin to a sort of blind faith and worship.
It was he who had established Hucheng, he who had led Hucheng in its advance, he who had dictated the overall flow time and time again, mightily reversing the frenzied tides...he was the creator of Hucheng, the uncontested ‘king’.
Even though they could not usually see him as they knew him to be doing other stuff outside, merely knowing that he was in Hucheng gave everyone an ease of mind as they felt that the horizon ahead was bright, with clear skies.
Yet now, he was going to leave...that sense of security vanished. Coupled with the various rumours that were going around outside, the thousand plus employees of Hucheng began feeling anxious and uncertain of the future.
Lu Zhixin booked a hotel and a large reception hall before calling and notifying Xu Tingsheng. Not considering coming together to eat hotpot and meat skewers, this should be Hucheng’s first even large-scale employee gathering in the two plus years since its establishment. Yet, it was to be Xu Tingsheng’s farewell and send-off.
Xu Tingsheng did not refuse to attend it.
From both the standpoints of feelings and practicality...he should rightly give Hucheng a proper farewell.
This gathering was scheduled on a weekend. All of Hucheng’s shareholders would be present, including the new shareholder Old Jin who was rushing over all the way from Shanxi with Little Jinshan. Most of Hucheng’s employees would be present, including Tang Guangyi who was, in actuality, no longer working, as well as some of Hucheng’s old guard who were also retired. Some more important business partners would be present too…
Following a round of selection, twenty-three media entities would be attending as well. Perhaps this could be seen as the first time Xu Tingsheng was publicly accepting a media interview.
Even before this employee gathering, or rather Xu Tingsheng’s farewell gathering, commenced, people were already beginning to talk about it online: This was the farewell of a ‘king’. The legendary Xu Tingsheng would henceforth be leaving where his dreams had all started…
Perhaps they would see a forlorn, solitary departing figure. The reporters had decided to take such a picture no matter what. It seemed there was virtually no better cover image to be had.
This occurrence had come too suddenly, at too important a time-it was when Xu Tingsheng’s Xingchen Technologies was being rocked by a storm. Therefore, people unconsciously linked these two events in their minds and subjectively assigned the departing Xu Tingsheng a tragic, stirring backstory.
The road ahead turbulent, a fire arising in one’s own backyard. This was the summary of some people from the media.
In this gathering of over a thousand people, the reporters waited with their equipment prepared while the employees looked downcast. Old Wai and co had blank, lost looks on their faces...the business partners of Hucheng appeared uncertain…
Lu Zhixin had personally assumed the role of the event’s emcee despite being a heated topic of debate herself in recent days. She had been as much the subject of rumours as Xu Tingsheng.
Even so, she maintained her usual composure as always. She had even taken extra care to dress up today, because it was actually the same for her too. She too was to be bidding farewell to the man named Xu Tingsheng.
Only those who had had all connections to another severed would understand that actually, any miniscule bit of connection was always preferable, however small.
After some simple, standard phrases to kick things off, Lu Zhixin left the stage amidst prevailing silence. Next, Xu Tingsheng ascended the stage from the side. He was wearing that most expensive suit of his, tie and all. It looked very formal, and he looked very handsome.
Lu Zhixin had said earlier over the phone, “It’s the last time. You’d better do it properly!”
“Long time no see,” Raising the microphone, Xu Tingsheng smiled and started to speak.
A little laughter resounded amongst the audience. Hey, it was true. Where else might any company’s boss ‘not see’ their employees for so long?
“Really, long time no see,” Xu Tingsheng continued, “Actually, for some new colleagues, or perhaps even some of our mid-level employees, this may be the first time you’re seeing me?”
He paused. Quite a few people nodded in affirmation.
“So, how is it? I hope you’re not disappointed?” Xu Tingsheng spread his arms apart and joked.
The atmosphere was a bit less solemn than it had been at the start as some began to laugh and others responded amongst the anonymity of the crowd, like this girl who yelled, “Boss, you’re so hot! Xu Tingsheng, I joined in order to date you! I even gave up on the world’s top 500 for it, and you’re actually running?!”
More people burst out laughing.
Xu Tingsheng smiled too, next continuing, “Actually, this is one of the reasons why I’ve decided to temporarily leave Hucheng. I don’t have enough time and energy to focus on Hucheng, and I don’t want to delay our progress. And Zhixin, Boss Lu...I trust that everyone here is very familiar with her, far more than you are with me. In truth, she has been the one leading Hucheng forward for a very long time. How she has been doing, and how hard she has been working-I trust that everyone should know it as well as I do. We should all be filled with confidence towards her.”
“Apart from that,” Xu Tingsheng paused momentarily to let everyone process their thoughts before continuing, “Everyone, I’d like to ask you a question. With Hucheng’s current structure, should we expand into new domains or should we develop further on our present ones in terms of scale, becoming an incomparable hegemon within the industry?”
Amongst the audience were a batch of Hucheng’s elites as well as some business partners who were all experienced in the business arena. They were naturally able to judge this.
After listening to a few responses, Xu Tingsheng raised the microphone again, saying, “Well of course! First in our domain, big boy of our industry, reasonable structure, sufficient room for growth...only a fool would risk continuing to expand into new domains, right? The current Hucheng, first and foremost, should aim to become mighty. That is the true, ideal path forward...and to achieve this, Boss Lu is most definitely a better candidate than me.”
“I love to roam around and take risks, I like to constantly try new things...” Xu Tingsheng smiled, evoking laughter from the audience, and then he continued, “I’ve roamed around and created a Xingchen Technologies outside. You guys know about it, right?”
“In that case, you should also know that Xingchen’s been fighting a war recently…” Xu Tingsheng smiled wryly, “The opponent’s too strong, and we aren’t so able to beat ‘em...”
At how he had expressed the rather dire situation in a relaxed manner, they all laughed.
“This is also the second reason behind me temporarily leaving Hucheng. I am going to fight a war. That’s all. It’s just these two reasons. Don’t worry, I’ll still be Hucheng’s shareholder and a part of Hucheng. If anything happens to Hucheng, if we are facing any difficulties, I will definitely be there for us. I will definitely return...if I don’t lose everything outside, I’ll even return with a big squad of troops…”
Xu Tingsheng sat at the boundary of the stage, his legs dangling in mid-air.
“I hope that all of you can like Hucheng…”
Having previously been smiling, even having purposefully jested a little in order to ease the mood, Xu Tingsheng’s expression now shifted as there was a bit of melancholy amidst that calmness. Everyone actually hoped that he would be saddened at leaving Hucheng, not so relaxed at the very least…right now, this reluctance to part with them was visible on his face…
“In the year 2003, my roommate Old Wai, also known as Wa Aiyi, who’s sitting right there,” Xu Tingsheng pointed at Old Wai, next continuing, “One day, Old Wai asked me: Xu Tingsheng, can you help me to find a part-time job outside? I want to take care of my girlfriend. Her family isn’t so well-off...his girlfriend’s name is Li Linlin. She’s sitting over there. The two of them are still together.”
Then, Xu Tingsheng continued, “Everyone may not know, but Old Wai is actually a fallen angel who fell from Computing to Chinese...Hucheng’s first code was written by him. Then, the three of us began constructing Hucheng together…”
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