A 24 year old employee at Ogilvy & Mather China’s offices in Beijing suffered a sudden heart attack on May 14. Prior to his death he had being working overtime for a month, not leaving the offices until 11pm every day, according to Yangzi Evening News.
The employee, Li Yuan, reportedly fell to the ground in the Beijing offices around 5pm on May 14. Coworkers immediately phoned 120 for help and emergency personnel rushed Li to Peking Union Medical College, but Li unfortunately died. According to a coworker of Li’s, doctors’ diagnosis was death by sudden cardiac arrest.
Li’s final Weibo message was a hearbreakingly appropriate photo of him saluting the camera as he (presumably) left work for the day, the tweet has been commented on over 15,000 times:
Overwork is a serious problem in China. Nearly 600,000 people die a year of “work exhaustion” according to the China Youth Daily. In 2011 we reported on the sad case of a 25 year old PriceWaterhouseCoopers employee in Shanghai who was allegedly “worked to death“.
Update 18:00 CST: Ogilvy & Mather confirmed Li’s death on Twitter.
Unfortunately the sad news is true. @ogilvypr Beijing has lost 1 of our own. He was loved by all of us. Thank u for your kind msgs
— Ogilvy China (@OgilvyChina) May 15, 2013
Update May 17: Ogilvy have denied that Li had been working overtime the month before his death, despite initial media reports to the contrary. The company implied that Li’s heart attack was likely due to a preexisting condition.