Chinese conglomerate HNA Group founder and co-chairman Wang Jian died in France July 3, following a serious injury sustained from a 50ft fall.

According to a French police statement, the 57 year-old was standing on a wall in Provence trying to take photographs with his family when he fell.  HNA said he was on a business trip in France.

HNA co-founder and co-chairman Chen Feng and CEO Adam Tan issued a statement July 4, saying, “HNA Group extends deepest condolences to Mr. Wang's family and many friends.  Together, we mourn the loss of an exceptionally gifted leader and role model, whose vision and values will continue to be a beacon for all who had the good fortune to know him, as well as for the many others whose lives he touched through his work and philanthropy.”

Wang, who read aviation management at the Civil Aviation University of China, was one of the co-founders of Hainan Province Airlines in 1989, now Hainan Airlines, and later established the HNA Group in 2000. Sub-group HNA Aviation has stakes in 15 airline operators. They include full service carriers like Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, LCCs such as HK Express, West Air, Lucky Air, and business jet operator, Deer Jet.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com