Li Chun Rong (pictured) has been appointed CEO of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (PONSB), also known as PROTON. Following the appointment, Li will be responsible for the whole operations of PROTON. This includes sales and marketing, production, manufacturing, operations, quality and research & development.
The move follows the departure of Dato’ Ahmad Fuaad Kenali who departed on 30 September 2017. Li brings with him 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, having worked with international brands such as Honda, Kia and Dongfeng in various high level roles. Current deputy CEO, Datuk Radzaif Mohammed will also support Li in a revitalisation plan for PROTON.
Li’s appointment was revealed by DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM) and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), which confirmed the new board structures and executive teams for PROTON Holdings and its related companies (PROTON Group).
At PROTON Holdings, Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar remains as the chairman. He is joined on the board by Shaharul Farez Hassan and Amalanathan Thomas as nominees from DRB-HICOM, who are both part of the senior management team at DRB-HICOM.
Meanwhile, Geely Holdings has nominated Daniel Donghui Li and Feng Qing Feng as their nominees to the PHB board. Daniel Donghui Li is the current executive VP and CFO of Geely Holding, while Feng is the group VP and CTO of Hong Kong-listed Geely Auto.
All five nominees also sit on the PONSB board, along with Nathan Yu Ning, who is the VP of international business and executive advisor to the president at Geely Holding. Syed Faisal, Farez, Nathan, Daniel Donghui Li and Nathan Yu Ning also sit on the board of PROTON Edar Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian distribution arm of PROTON.
The move comes as the board eyes a global revitalisation of the PROTON brand as a core priority. The joint goal of both teams is to see PROTON restored to being the best-selling brand within Malaysia and a top three ASEAN brand in the coming years, according to a press statement.
To achieve this goal, the management of PROTON has established a global team that is able to utilise the leading market knowledge of both shareholders. This is the leading local knowledge of DRB-HICOM and also the international resources of Geely Holding.
“I was nominated by the board to turn PROTON around and I believe the Malaysian car brand will soon be the number one domestic brand and a leading ASEAN brand. To make this vision happen, PROTON now has access to the global synergies, expertise and financial support it needs from the Geely family. I firmly believe that PROTON’s best days are ahead of it,” Li said.