SINGAPORE – Temasek Holdings announced on Tuesday (Feb 9) that its chief executive officer Ho Ching will retire from the state investment firm and step down from its board on Oct 1.
She will be succeeded by Mr Dilhan Pillay, CEO of Temasek International (TI), the commercial arm of Temasek driving its investments.
Announcing the change, Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng said: “Leadership succession is a strategic responsibility of the board. We have had in place an annual review since the early 2000s. This is to enable the board to be prepared for all eventualities, with various succession options over different time horizons.
“Ho Ching has been very much part of this process. Indeed, she has been very active, working over the years to identify various potential successors both inside and outside of Temasek. She has also played a key role in nurturing a strong leadership bench in Temasek, several of whom have gone on to CEO appointments beyond Temasek.”
Mr Lim also paid tribute to Ms Ho for her leadership roles in Temasek over nearly two decades.
While there are some months to go before Ms Ho retires, Mr Lim said the board wishes to recognise that she has led Temasek through a remarkable period of transformation.
“We have evolved from a relatively passive owner of the shares in former Government-owned companies in Singapore to a globally-recognised and respected investor, forward looking institution and trusted steward.”
He noted that Temasek’s portfolio stood at $90 billion, mostly invested in Singapore, when Ho Ching was first appointed CEO in 2004. The portfolio has since tripled to over $300 billion, notwithstanding the impact of the Global Financial Crisis and now Covid-19, he said.
Said Mr Lim: “Perhaps above all else, Ho Ching will be recognised for her unwavering commitment to build Temasek as a trusted steward, committed to the highest standards of integrity and governance. “
Mr Pillay joined Temasek in September 2010, from law firm WongPartnership where he was managing partner. He has more than 20 years of legal experience, mainly focusing on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and corporate law.
Since coming on board, he has played several critical roles in Temasek, including a two-year stint as head of Americas, based in New York. He was appointed TI CEO in 2019. In that role, he has been responsible for the investor role of Temasek, managing its investment and portfolio activities.
As CEO, Mr Pillay will be responsible for Temasek’s stewardship role, particularly its constitutional responsibilities to safeguard its own past reserves, said Mr Lim.
“The board looks forward to working with him, as the owner of those responsibilities, and will support him and his team in whatever ways needed,” he added.
Lee Theng Kiat, Temasek executive director and TI chairman, will also be retiring from his executive role at the same time. He will remain a non-executive member of Temasek’s board and continue as non-executive chairman of TI.
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