YEO Hiap Seng's group chief executive officer Tjong Yik Min will be retiring on April 30 next year. He will be replaced by Melvin Teo Tzai Win, a former president-director of PT Bank DBS Indonesia, the drinks maker and property developer announced on Monday.
Mr Tjong, 62, joined the firm as president and chief operating officer in 2002 and became group CEO in 2010.
The 43-year-old Mr Teo is a long-time banker who held positions at Bank of America and Standard Chartered Bank before joining DBS in 2005. He was president-director of PT Bank DBS Indonesia from October 2012 to November this year, and before that led DBS Bank (China) from 2010 to 2012. Before China, Mr Teo headed DBS's private equity group. Mr Teo will take the title of executive director and CEO designate on Jan 1, and formally assume the role of group CEO on April 24. "We look forward to a seamless leadership transition, and for Melvin to build on the foundation laid, especially the new plants coming up in Indonesia and Cambodia, and take YHS to yet another level," said chairman Koh Boon Hwee.
Mr Tjong was credited with leading the privatisation of Yeo Hiap Seng (Malaysia) Bhd between 2012 and 2013. The market capitalisation of Yeo Hiap Seng rose 17 per cent during Mr Tjong's time as CEO, to S$1 billion as at Dec 5. That outpaced the 9.8 per cent increase in the Straits Times Index during that time.
Mr Teo will be inheriting a company going through some volatility. Its property division has been quiet this year. After posting a S$33.67 million net profit in the first nine months of 2013, the business segment posted no sales in the comparable 2014 period, dragging its nine-month net profit in 2014 down 78 per cent to S$15.7 million. Its traditional food and beverage business posting a 44 per cent drop in net profit, to S$7 million, for the nine months to September. In its results announcement, it said that it expects continued higher raw material prices, energy costs and intense competition.
Yeo Hiap Seng shares closed trading on Monday unchanged at S$1.80.