Succession Planning Missing The Point?

04:45 AM Jul 02, 2012
One wonders why CapitaLand Holdings is spending money, time and effort engaging a headhunter to look for a replacement for outgoing President and Chief Executive Liew Mun Leong, who will retire in a year’s time when he turns 67.

On June 22, CapitaLand announced that Mr Liew would not be seeking a further extension to his appointment as head honcho of Southeast Asia’s largest real-estate company.

Mr Liew had already served two extensions, totalling five years, to his term at the helm of CapitaLand. So, one would have assumed that a successor would be in place the moment Mr Liew announced his retirement.

But in the current fashion of our top government-linked companies, a headhunting firm has been engaged to scour the earth for a successor.

CapitaLand had said that Friday: “Succession planning has been institutionalised in Pidemco (which merged with DBS Land in 2000 to form CapitaLand) and CapitaLand for many years. As part of the succession planning process and in line with best practices, a Board Succession Committee will review the internal and external candidates to succeed Mr Liew when he retires on June 28, 2013.”

Mr Liew himself had said: “All my chiefs can succeed me. All my CEOs have potential – the CFO, CIO, COO.”

They would be Chief Financial Officer Olivier Lim, Chief Investment Officer Arthur Lang and Chief Operating Officer Lim Ming Yan.

Analyst Michael Lim of UBS Securities said: “We think Group COO Lim Ming Yan is a natural candidate and possesses the relevant property experience having previously held the position of CEO of CapitaLand China Holdings and spearheaded the group’s China initiatives.”

CapitaLand has also noted Mr Lim’s credentials. On his appointment as COO, the company said: “In his present role as CEO of Ascott, Ming Yan’s focus has been on transforming Ascott into a real-estate company with a global footprint in the hospitality sector and to realise Ascott’s potential for portfolio gains. Ming Yan has a proven track record of successfully operating and implementing projects in China, India, South-east Asia, the Middle East and Europe.”   Read the full article by Conrad Raj for

Posted on July 2, 2012, in Succession Planning. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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