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Police report had almost been filed against Sportshub CEO for abuse of staff

by Kannan Raj

Less than two years in the job, and it looks like the reign of Mr Manu Sawhney as Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Sports Hub is set to come to an end.

Today, the Straits Times reported that Mr Sawhney’s exit was imminent.

Reports first surfaced last week when TODAY reported that he was on extended leave following an anonymous complaint.

While details of the complaint have not been made public, there were references made to his style of management and poor treatment of staff.

One insider has informed TOC that he had verbally abused certain staff until one of them had a breakdown in the office, and a police report has almost been filed a few months after he took over.

TOC had previously reported in August 2016 how the exodus had been continuing at the Singapore Sports Hub following the appointment of Mr Sawhney as CEO.

A former colleague of Mr Sawhney who worked with him at his previous company ESPN Star Sports told TOC: “Looks like his reign of terror has continued at the Sportshub. Did the Board not do their homework when they hired him and do a reference check about his actions against his staff when he was in ESS?”

While details of the current complaint have not been made public, TOC has been told about how Mr Sawhney has on multiple occasions been abrasive towards staff, especially senior management.

Since he took over, the Sportshub has lost various key people such as two senior management members from equity partner Global Spectrum Pico, managing director Mr Mark Collins and Ms Daphne Letourmel, director of contracts and compliance. The consortium said then that the duo were “stepping aside” from their roles.

Two months later, legal director Maud Brotons and head of human resources Tan Ai Sim also parted ways with SHPL. Ai Sim had been on the job for less than six months, and was recruited by Sawhney.

Other senior staff who have left the Sports Hub include Mr Jason Hrick, who was appointed acting managing director after Collins’ departure, Ms Olivia Keenan, who was Head of Legal, Mr Jose Raymond, who was the Sportshub’s senior director for corporate communications and stakeholder management, and Mr Eugene Lee, who was its marketing and communications director.

A former staff of the Sporthub told TOC that the signs were clear and it was rather unfortunate that action had not been taken earlier.

“The Sportshub was marketed as a place where Singaporeans could come to play. It was thus very sad that for its staff, it was a living hell and a nightmare.”