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Steven Cao CEO Edelman China missing

‘Missing’ Edelman CEO Steven Cao returns after two months

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Steven Cao, CEO of Edelman China, has returned to his family after a two-month absence from what the Chinese authorities called “co-operation” on a corruption probe.

Speaking with Human Resources‘ sister publication, Marketing Magazine, via email, Edelman China and Hong Kong confirmed his return saying is “spending private time with his family”. There was no further elaboration.

According to the magazine, his prospects at Edelman remain uncertain.

In July, Cao was first found to be missing from work at the Edelman China office. It is believed he was co-operating with Chinese authorities over an official corruption probe involving detained CCTV anchor and his former business partner, Rui Chenggang.

Rui founded PR firm Pegasus Communications, which Edelman acquired a majority stake in 2007.

The popular news anchor was detained on July 13th by Chinese authorities for alleged corruption allegations, just hours before he was supposed to be on TV for live broadcast. There has been very little information around this since the detention.

According to a CNN article, speculation around Rui’s troubles started a month before he was detained, after colleague Guo Zhenxi was also detained for allegedly accepting bribes.

State media have surmised Rui detention is closely link to Guo’s, and there is speculation around allegedly profiting from using CCTV resources, however, these comments are unconfirmed.

At the time of Rui’s detention, Pegasus tweeted he was “now under probe” and stated held shares in Edelman, which provides CCTV services.

Edelman was quick to distance itself from Chenggang via email, Marketing reported, saying he no longer has any shareholding in Pegasus after the agency acquired all of its remaining shares in 2010.

Information from this article first appeared in Marketing Magazine


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