Singtel has named Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of its Singapore consumer business and chief digital officer, to succeed Chua Sock Koong as group CEO when she retires from her role on 1 January 2021. Yuen's (pictured left) appointment comes after a global search was conducted that considered both internal and external candidates for the job. Chua (pictured right) will stay on as senior advisor to chairman Lee Theng Kiat to assist with the transition.
As CEO of Singtel's Singapore consumer business and chief digital officer, Yuen led the Singapore consumer business to deliver an integrated suite of mobile, broadband and TV services, and is also responsible for driving the telco's digital transformation. He joined the group in 1993 and has risen through the ranks of the company, with leadership positions in marketing, business development and sales, and at Telkomsel in Indonesia, before his appointment as CEO, consumer Singapore in 2012.
In 2016, he was appointed to the board of SkillsFuture Singapore, the board of advisors of the Institute of Service Excellence at SMU, the Digital Readiness Council Steering Committee in 2018 and the SIM Governing Council in 2019.
Meanwhile, Chua was named group CEO on 1 April 2007. She joined Singtel in June 1989 as treasurer before becoming CFO in April 1999. She held the positions of group CFO and CEO, international from February 2006 to 12 October 2006, when she was appointed deputy group CEO.
Chua sits on the boards of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Telecom, the Defence Science and Technology Agency, Cap Vista and key subsidiaries of the Singtel Group. She is also deputy chair of the GSMA board, deputy chairman of the Public Service Commission and a member of Singapore’s Council of Presidential Advisers and the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council.
Yuen said Chua has set an inspiringly high bar and he will do his utmost to build on the success of Singtel. "I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Singtel at this exciting juncture, with 5G changing the game not just for the telecoms sector but enterprises across industries. I look forward to working even more extensively with my fellow colleagues to harness these changes for the benefit of our retail, enterprise and government customers as well as our international business partners," he added.
Meanwhile, Chua said it has been an immense privilege to be involved in Singtel’s growth and transformation, adding that it has been an amazing 31 years, 13 of those as GCEO.
“I’m proud that we have a unique regional presence that is of scale and while competition is escalating across the region, our positive long-term view of our regional assets and diversification hasn’t changed as we expect the exponential growth in smartphone adoption and development of their enterprise business to drive positive growth for our associates," she said.
Chua added that she is also pleased with the market leadership it continues to maintain in Singapore, as well as with partners in the region, and the progress it has made with its enterprise business.
“I’ve seen a few global crises on my watch – the dot.com bust, the global financial crisis, the India competition challenges – and I’m proud of how we’ve weathered those storms and businesses challenges. I’ve always said that Singtel’s strength lies in the resilience of our people and I’m confident this will see us through the current COVID crisis as well," Chua said.
“With Singtel well-positioned for the future, it is a good time for me to retire and I’m glad to be passing the baton to Yuen whose unflagging commitment to managing and growing the consumer business has earned him the respect of his peers and colleagues. As part of the management team, he has been exposed to all areas of the business and heavily involved in key operational decisions. He has also contributed extensively to the growth of our Telkomsel associate, having spent five years in senior management roles there, driving product development and commerce and serving on its board of commissioners since 2009. His proven leadership capabilities and ability to adapt and compete in a fast-changing technology and business landscape will serve Singtel well in its next phase of growth," she added.
Lee said Yuen's years of honed experience in the company’s core telecom business and his more recent focus on transforming the group digitally for growth, make him extremely well placed to lead Singtel forward in an era of disruption. "My fellow directors and I look forward to working with him to grow and develop the group’s businesses," he said.
Lee also added that Chua is one of Singapore’s most successful CEOs and has played a key role in making Singtel the operationally and financially strong company it is today.
"Under her leadership, Singtel added Optus in Australia to its portfolio, building an unrivalled footprint across Asia, with stakes in all the lead telecom players in India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. In 2012, Chua led the group on its digital transformation, which included the digitalisation of its core telecom business as well as the growth of new digital businesses. This has seen the building out of its global cyber security business which continues to scale. She has also developed a strong enterprise business with a thriving ICT arm in NCS. In recent months, Chua led the team on its 5G investment plans that not only promises 5G coverage for Singapore but repositions Singtel for growth in the converging world of telecoms and tech," he added.
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