|“||A quick death. Soon you'll be wishing you had one too.||„|
|~ The chairman to Matt|
The Chairman of Nightrise is the chairman of the Nightrise Corporation and he is an antagonist in books three and four of The Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz. He is the unnamed head of an evil organization named Nightrise, and it is his goal to release the Old Ones and rule the East.
The Chairman is either from Australia or America, and he has long, white hair and a clean face, and it is mentioned his hair looks like a wig but is really his. He went travelling a lot when young, and during his travels in China, he met a fortune teller who told him he was going to be killed by a boat. He became frightened of boats and water and avoided sailing.
Later, he went into business in China and created the Nightrise corporation, expanding its influence round the world. He got links with eveything, and he became powerful and rich. He was scared the balance of rich and poor would tumble, and he wanted the rich to remain rich forever and the poor to be wiped out. He was very vain.
Somehow, he converted to the Dark Side and the ways of the Old Ones, and manipulated the elections so it would be a supporter of the Old Ones who became the next president of the United States of America; he also set up a project to hunt down Gatekeepers who could stop the Old Ones.
The American election was between two men, John Trelawney and Charles Baker, and Nightrise wanted Baker to become president because he supported the Old Ones. There were laws against donating to politics but Nightrise did so anyway. But they covered up their tracks. The chairman conducted a meeting with the directors of Nightrise and told them that if it looked like John Trelawney was winning, he should be killed. Simms, a Nightrise executive and soldier, said it would be rather impossible to kill Trelawney, and so he was killed off and thrown in the Hudson river. An executive, Susan Mortlake, suggested to the chairman that they could have one of the Gatekeepers brainwash one of Trelawney's henchmen and have him kill Trelawney; the chairman agreed.
The chairman ordered Paul Adams (a Nightrise executive) to lure his step daughter Scarlett out to China under pretence that he was going to meet her; he left her with Nightrise and the chairman met her. The chairman acted very perverse with Scarlett, he kept touching her and complimenting her. He gave her a necklace made of jade which he said looked beautiful on her and he then said he had to go to a board meeting. Scarlett had been captured by evil monks in a monastery called Cry for Mercy before, so she was alarmed when the chairman said "Even though I'm chairman, they won't hear my cry for mercy" and he said this in a sinister way. Scarlett was left to wander round Hong Kong but she had one of the Old Ones in human form for company; the Triads killed her evil guardian after contacting Scarlett and asking her to go to the Peak, and then they rescued Scarlett after showing her the evil in the city.
The chairman set up a hunt for Jamie and Matt, two other Gatekeepers who had come after Scarlett in Hong Kong, but, when the Triads tried to get Scarlett out safe, her step father was there, and then when she told him to come with them, he betrayed her to the Old Ones and they captured Scarlett, throwing her down and knocking her out, but she summoned a typhoon with her ability, which had been hidden. Then Scarlett was taken and captured.
Matt and Jamie got in to Hong Kong and rescued her, but the chairman was not pleased. He was holding a meeting with the head monk who had captured Scarlett, explaining his goals, but then he told the monk that he was not pleased with his failure of letting Scarlett go and so he ordered him to kill himself (by stepping out a seventy-storey window). The monk did so, reluctantly, and the chairman sat back to watch the gathering typhoon.
Halfway through the typhoon, when the Gatekeepers were escaping, the chairman was standing by the window dreaming of the future (wherein he hoped he would be emperor of China) when suddenly the typhoon picked up a boat and threw it in through the window, smashing it, and killing the chairman - who didn't even run; he knew this was his fate.
The chairman was creepy; he was very vain and ambitious, and he was very conservative, to say the least. He believed in treachery, business and art, and he wanted the rich to remain rich forever and the poor to be killed, believing them useless. He was so vain he lived in the rich part of Hong Kong and could literally look down (and over the city) at the poor part, knowing that there were starving, homeless and poor people there and he would do nothing to help them.
His weakness was his superstition; he had to have the Nightrise building built in a certain way to prevent evil spirits entering. His belief in destiny was also his downfall when he didn't run from his oncoming death.
He was barely human; he was physically human but reminded Scarlett of some insect. This was because he was given power by the Old Ones before their release.
He was also a pervert; touching the fifteen year old Scarlett and complimenting her on her looks and saying he would rather spend more time with her than go to business. This is sort of ironic because she is a Gatekeeper and one of his enemies.
- The chairman is eerily similar to Isaac Ray Peram Westcott, another business villain with interests in demon summoning. The chairman even looks a little like Sir Isaac. He also has the same demeanour, appearing polite and cultured to even his worst enemies.
- Despite being one of the main antagonists, the chairman has made very few appearances.