Sea's Forrest Li says he will not get paid till business is 'self-sufficient'

Applies to the company's leadership team as well.

Nigel Chua | September 16, 2022, 12:17 PM

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The Chairman and Group CEO of Sea Ltd, Forrest Li, said the company's leadership has decided that they "will not take any cash compensation until the company reaches self-sufficiency".

The announcement was made on Sep. 15 via an internal memo sent to Sea staff, Bloomberg reported.

The Singapore-based tech company operates three "core businesses": e-commerce platform Shopee, game developer and publisher Garena, and financial services business SeaMoney.

Market conditions to blame

Li wrote in his memo that the company faced "negative conditions" that would "likely persist in the medium term."

The co-founder cited rising interest rates, inflation, and market volatility as factors affecting the company.

“With investors fleeing for ‘safe haven’ investments, we do not anticipate being able to raise funds in the market," said Li.

Company needs to have positive cash flow

Li said the company's main objective in the next 12 to 18 months would be to achieve positive cash flow.

“The only way for us to free ourselves from relying on external capital is to become self-sufficient, generating enough cash for all our own needs and projects,” Li said.

Cost-cutting measures

According to Bloomberg, the company's cost-cutting measures will include:

  • Capping business travel to economy class flight fares
  • Limiting travel meal expenses to US$30 (approx. S$42) a day
  • Limiting spending on hotel stays for business trips to US$150 (approx. S$211) a night
  • Reducing reimbursement of expenses on meals and entertainment

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Top image via Sea Ltd website