By B.K. SIDHU
CORPORATE leaders Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar and Che Khalib Mohamad Nor were named yesterday to head the country’s two largest utility companies, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
Wahid, 40, currently managing director/CEO of United Engineers (M) Bhd (UEM), takes over as group chief executive officer at Telekom, and Che Khalib, 38, managing director/CEO of KUB Malaysia Bhd , as chief executive officer of the powerhouse for a three-year term.
Their appointments, announced by the respective companies, are effective July 1.
More top appointments at government-linked companies (GLCs) can be expected in the coming weeks with the reformation of those firms as part of efforts by the Government to remake Malaysia Inc, which had seen Azman Mokhtar being appointed chief executive officer of the Government’s investment agency, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, effective June 1.
The appointment of young professionals is viewed positively by some within the investing community, as it brings the best brains in the country to the GLCs, some of which need massive overhaul.
Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar goes to Telekom
Che Khalid told StarBiz: “I am happy with my appointment and would like to thank the Government and board of TNB for having the confidence in me to head the company.
“It is an opportunity for me to work with the board and employees of TNB and take the company to greater heights. With their support we can look towards increasing efficiency and producing better results, but we also know TNB has done well.''
Asked if there was any particular area within TNB that he would tackle first, he said: “It is too early to say. I cannot comment now as I need to first get into TNB to assess the situation.''Before joining KUB, he had had stints in, among others, SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd, Ranhill Utilities Bhd, Ranhill Bhd, Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan, HBN Management Services Sdn Bhd, Marak Unggul Sdn Bhd, and KTM Bhd.
Wahid, in a separate statement, thanked the Government and Telekom board for the appointment and said he was grateful for the opportunity to take on new challenges at one of the biggest GLCs in Malaysia.
“Having served a short stint in Telekom (as chief financial officer), my coming on board cannot be likened to going to a strange place. I look forward to working closely with my former colleagues to take on new challenges and to contribute to Telekom,’’ he said.
“My 2½ years at the helm of UEM Group has proven to be a valuable experience, and the right exposure. I enjoyed my time at UEM Group, restructuring and rebuilding the group together with my fellow colleagues.
“I would like to record my appreciation to the chairmen and boards of UEM, UEM World Bhd and PLUS Expressways Bhd for their guidance and support. I look forward to working closely with them over the next 6 weeks to ensure a smooth handover,'' he added.
Che Khalib Mohamad Nor goes to Tenaga
Wahid held separate briefing sessions with the employees of UEM yesterday evening.
However, he could not enlighten them on who would succeed him.
In a statement, Telekom welcomed Wahid's return.
It is learnt that Izham Yusoff, managing director of Amanah Raya Bhd, is likely to succeed Che Khalib at KUB. Izham, 37, will assume the post also on July 1.
Before joining Amanah Raya, Izham, who holds an MBA, had stints at EON Bhd, Maxis Communications Bhd, Citibank Bhd, and Procter & Gamble, Singapore.
Izham's position at Amanah Raya would likely be filled by Ahmad Rodzi Pawanteh, head of KUB's food and beverage division.
Rodzi, 48, holds two MBAs, one in banking and finance and another in general management.
As for Wahid's position at UEM, many names, from within and without, have been bandied about.
But two that keep popping up are Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, managing director/CEO of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Ahmad Pardas Senin, executive director of Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
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