SIA wrote that Mr Seah, currently Deputy Chairman, will take over from Mr Lee as Chairman on 1 January 2017. Mr Lee will retire from the SIA Board on the same day. He will continue as Chairman of subsidiary SIA Engineering Company.
Mr Lee joined the SIA Board on 26 April 2004 and became Chairman on 1 January 2006. Mr Lee also oversaw the transformation of the SIA Group’s business model, which has been enhanced through investments in both full-service and low-cost airlines, joint venture airlines in other markets, and new adjacent businesses such as the provision of pilot training.
Mr Seah joined the SIA Board as Deputy Chairman on 1 September 2015. A banker for more than 30 years, Mr Seah was with the former Overseas Union Bank between 1977 and 2001, retiring as Vice Chairman and CEO. Prior to that he was with Citibank NA. Between December 2001 and December 2004 he served as President & CEO of Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd.
Mr Seah is Chairman of DBS Group Holdings and DBS Bank Ltd. He is also Chairman of LaSalle College of the Arts Limited and Singapore Health Services.
Mr Seah said, "Singapore Airlines is one of Singapore’s strongest companies and best-known brands, and it has successfully weathered many challenges under Stephen’s tenure as Chairman."
"I look forward to building on the work that Stephen has overseen during his time as Chairman, in steering the SIA Group through the global financial crisis, a change in CEO and the implementation of numerous strategic initiatives to better position the Group for the future," he added.
While, Mr Lee said, "I am honoured to have had a good run as Chairman of one of Singapore’s most iconic companies. I am proud of what we have achieved with the unwavering support of my fellow Board members, a strong management team, employees who are always striving to better meet the needs of our customers, and unions which work with management as partners, rather than adversaries. I have an excellent successor in Peter and am confident that SIA will go from strength to strength under his watch."
SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong added, "The management team and I could not have asked for a more supportive Chairman over the past 11 years. Without the invaluable guidance of Stephen and the rest of the Board, SIA would not be in the strong position that we are in today."
"I very much look forward to working with Peter and the rest of the Board as we take this great company to the next phase of its development."