SPH appoints former NOL CEO as its new Chief Executive Officer

Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) announced today that it will be appointing former NOL Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ng Yat Chung as its Executive Director with effect from 1 July 2017 and subsequently be taking the appointment of CEO from 1 September 2017.

Mr Ng is currently an independent director of SPH and chairs the Board Risk Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Mr Ng, 55, was Special Advisor of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd (NOL) from 9 June 2016 to 26 May 2017. Prior to that, he was NOL’s Group President & CEO from 1 October 2011 and its Executive Director & CEO Designate from 1 May 2011 to 30 September 2011.

While he was NOL’s CEO, Temasek sold NOL to France’s CMA CGM at $3.38 billion or just $1.30 a share for less than half the 2004 share price it paid for the shares.  He had been reported to have said that NOL was not able to cut costs fast enough in an industry where shipping services were increasingly getting commoditised and admitted that the company had been “a bit slow and reluctant to change”.

Mr Ng also held several assignments with Temasek Holdings between 2007 and 2011, after holding various positions with the Singapore Armed Forces, including as the Chief of Defence Force from July 2003 to April 2007.

After serving 15 years in SPH, Chief Executive Officer of SPH, Mr Alan Chan Heng Loon, 64, will be retiring with effect from 1 September 2017. He will also step down as a Director of SPH. The Board has decided to appoint Mr Ng to replace Mr Chan as Chief Executive Officer on the same day.

Mr Alan Chan Heng Loon (Photo – SPH)

Mr Chan joined SPH as Group President and Director on 1 July 2002 and became Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2003. Prior to joining SPH, he was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport. Mr Chan was previously Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Info Technology (1999-2001), Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-1999) and Principal Private Secretary to Senior Minister (1994-

Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of the SPH Board, said: “Alan has served SPH with great distinction in the last 15 years. Under his leadership, SPH expanded its core media business to multiple platforms across print, digital, radio and outdoor and from a handful of magazine titles to more than 100 titles today. From just a media company, SPH now has a portfolio of retail and commercial properties and had established a real estate investment trust about four years ago, runs an exhibitions and events business in Singapore and the region, and has entered the healthcare industry. We have to credit all these milestone achievements to Alan’s stewardship.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, Management and staff of SPH, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for his invaluable contributions to the Group and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.“

“I would also like to thank Patrick for his 30 years of service to SPH. He has served with distinction in many different positions over the years. We are most grateful to Patrick for his readiness to continue supporting the Group by accepting the appointment of Consultant and to steer several of our JVs and subsidiaries.”

”I am confident that Yat Chung will provide far-sighted and effective leadership for SPH. He will work closely with Deputy CEO Anthony Tan and the Group Management Team to tap new ideas and initiatives to steer SPH to greater heights.”

Mr Ng said: “I am pleased to join SPH as Executive Director and CEO Designate. The media landscape is rapidly evolving with technological convergence in the digital age. There are vast opportunities that can be reaped despite these challenges facing us. As a Board member, I have been involved in deliberations on SPH’s growth plans and strategies, including its entry into the healthcare and private nursing home sector with its acquisition of Orange Valley. I look forward to working with the Board and the Company to bring SPH to the new phase of growth.”

Mr Chan said: “I am grateful to the Chairman and Board Directors, both past and present, for their unstinting support of my efforts to restructure the media business and expand into new businesses. I am indebted to my colleagues for their commitment in rallying with me to create value for the Company. Without them, I would not have accomplished as much. After having spent 15 years with the Company, it is time for me to hand over the mantle to younger executives to lead the Company. I have worked with Yat Chung in the past and have known him for many years. I find him eminently suitable to replace me and have full confidence that both Yat Chung and Anthony will do an excellent job in propelling SPH forward.”