Pro­ton CEO to leave on Sept 30

DRB-HICOM says busi­ness plan will also be fi­nalised ‘very soon’

New Straits Times - - Business - AMIR HISYAM RASID KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

PRO­TON Hold­ings Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Datuk Ah­mad Fuaad Ke­nali will leave the na­tional car­maker on Septem­ber 30 as par­ent DRBHICOM Bhd says it ex­pects to fi­nalise the for­mer’s busi­ness plan “very soon”.

Fuaad, how­ever, will re­main with the DRB-HICOM group, and assume a “big role” with a re­lated com­pany.

“DRB-HICOM and Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ing Group are work­ing to­wards com­ple­tion of this cor­po­rate trans­ac­tion, which is ex­pected to ma­te­ri­alise very soon.

“Cur­rently, both DRB-HICOM and Geely are in­ten­si­fy­ing ef­forts to fi­nalise the de­tailed busi­ness plan for Pro­ton Group,” said the group in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Be­sides the de­par­ture of Ah­mad Fuaad and ap­point­ment of the new CEO, the plan will see the Pro­ton Group bro­ken down into three key en­ti­ties, namely Pro­ton, Perusa­haan Oto­mo­bil Na­sional Sdn Bhd (PONSB) and Pro­ton Edar Sdn Bhd.

For all three en­ti­ties, DRBHICOM will have an ad­di­tional seat on the board of di­rec­tors to match its 50.1 per cent hold­ing in Pro­ton.

“Each com­pany shall have board rep­re­sen­ta­tions from both DRB-HICOM and Geely Hold­ing,” it added.

Ah­mad Fuaad was ap­pointed as CEO on April 1 last year after as­sum­ing the po­si­tion of chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer/se­nior group di­rec­tor of DRB-HICOM in 2013.

“He has done an im­pec­ca­ble job in his short ten­ure at Pro­ton. Un­der his watch, Pro­ton rolled out four new mod­els in a span of eight short months,” said DRB-HICOM group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Al­bar.

“He also played a vi­tal role in clos­ing Pro­ton’s search for a suit­able FSP (for­eign strate­gic partner). The need for an FSP in Pro­ton was one of the key pri­or­i­ties of DRB-HICOM at the point of our ac­qui­si­tion of Pro­ton in 2012”, he em­pha­sised.

Syed Faisal said dur­ing Ah­mad Fuaad’s lead­er­ship, Pro­ton saw a con­sis­tent im­prove­ment in busi­ness op­er­a­tions.

“Both the boards of DRBHICOM and Pro­ton Hold­ings ex­press our ut­most grat­i­tude for his im­mense con­tri­bu­tion both at DRBHICOM and at Pro­ton, end­ing with the highly suc­cess­ful out­come of hav­ing Geely Hold­ing as an FSP for Pro­ton Group. Ah­mad Fuaad will be as­sum­ing a big role with a re­lated com­pany and the boards wish him the best for his fu­ture un­der­tak­ings,” he added.

Ru­mours were rife re­cently that Dongfeng Honda En­gine Co deputy gen­eral man­ager Li Chun­rong would be ap­pointed as Pro­ton’s CEO.

This fol­lowed re­ports that Li had left Dongfeng Honda and joined Geely on Au­gust 22.

Mean­while, DRB-HICOM said Syed Faisal would con­tinue with his key role as the over­all Pro­ton chair­man.

Geely, which owns 49.9 per cent of Pro­ton, will also be nom­i­nat­ing a suit­able can­di­date as the CEO of PONSB.

DRB-HICOM said in or­der to en­sure a smooth in­te­gra­tion, Datuk Radzaif Mo­hamed would re­main as a key of­fi­cer at Pro­ton and con­tinue in his role as deputy CEO at PONSB.

Sim­i­larly, Ab­dul Rashid Musa, who was named as Pro­ton Edar CEO in Fe­bru­ary, will also con­tinue in his role at the dis­tri­bu­tion arm.

Pro­ton Hold­ings Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Ah­mad Fuaad Ke­nali

ADAM ARININ PIC BY MOHD

DRB-HICOM and Geely Hold­ing are in­ten­si­fy­ing ef­forts to fi­nalise the de­tailed busi­ness plan for Pro­ton Hold­ings Bhd.

Datuk Ah­mad Fuaad Ke­nali

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