PETALING JAYA: A fresh wave of change at government-linked outfits appears to be happening, with at least two chief executive officers (CEOs) being rumoured to leave their respective organisations in the near future.
Among those that could go soon, according to sources, are from the banking industry, namely, RHB Bank Bhd managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli and CIMB Group CEO Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz.
Other CEOs likely to leave are those currently serving at smaller financial institutions, and construction and property firms that are owned by government-linked entities.
These changes come hot on the heels of Syed Hamadah Othman replacing Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad at Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) early this month.
“It appears that the corporate purge is far from over...the new government wants a clean sweep (of the old guards),” said a source.
Wan Kamaruzaman, better known as Wan K, had led one of the country’s biggest pension funds for five years.
Just last Friday, TELEKOM MALAYSIA BHD’s acting group CEO, Datuk Bazlan Osman, announced his resignation, which took effect immediately.
Bazlan was appointed to the post in June following the departure of Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly.
He will, however, remain as the company’s executive director until Feb 28, 2019 as part of a transition deal.
Earlier in September, Nik Amlizan Mohamed was appointed as the new CEO of Armed Forces fund LTAT, replacing Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, who had led the fund for 36 years.
These changes follow the initial winds of change which occurred post-May 9 – the historic day which saw the first ever change of a ruling party in Malaysia.
Following the formation of a new government, among the big names that were removed almost immediately were Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar and Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, formerly of Permodalan Nasional Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd, respectively.
Other top brass who have left since include Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim (pic) and MALAYSIA AIRPORTS HOLDINGS BHD’s Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, whose contract was not renewed.
Since May 9, there has been a disquiet that has been building up among government-linked companies (GLCs).
Upon taking over, the new government had said that there was a need to review the role of GLCs and the remuneration paid out to their top executives and senior management.
The Pakatan Harapan government is understood to have started mulling over making drastic changes in the appointment and remuneration of key directors at these entities, which include government agencies, right after taking over, and is still doing so.
It is worthwhile to note that after much speculation, CIMB’s ex-chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak – who is the brother of ousted premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak – left the banking group in September after 29 years at the lender.
More recently, the country’s second-largest lender announced a slew of major changes among its key management, including the appointment of Khairulanwar Rifaie, who is currently the chief financial officer (CFO) of CIMB Malaysia and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd, as group CFO.
Current group CFO Shahnaz Jammal will relinquish his position to become CEO of the group’s wholesale banking business.
It is also understood that a couple of Tengku Zafrul’s key lieutenants have recently vacated, or will soon leave, their positions to join other outfits.
At RHB, there has also been a recent spate of management changes.
Omar Siddiq recently resigned as RHB’s head of group wholesale banking, joining CIMB as group chief operating officer.
Earlier in the year, head of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) Soon Poh Lean and one of the lender’s key M&A team members, Theresa Lim, resigned from the bank.