Singtel’s consumer business chief will assume the role of group CEO next year, as the Singapore telco’s current head is set to retire. The announcement is the latest to reveal a change at the top seat amongst telcos in the country over the past couple of years.

A 27-year veteran at the company, Yuen Kuan Moon joined the telco in 1993 and currently is CEO of Singtel’s Singapore consumer business as well as chief digital officer. He has held several leadership positions including in marketing, business development, and at Telkomsel in Indonesia. 

CEO of Singtel’s consumer business since 2012, Yuen would take over as group CEO from January 2021, when current chief Chua Sock Koong was scheduled to retire. The latter will remain as senior advisor to the chairman and help guide the transition.

His appointment had followed a global search that assessed both internal and external candidates, said Singtel in a statement Thursday. 

Singtel Chairman Lee Theng Kiat said: “[Yuen’s] years of honed experience in the company’s core telecom business, and his more recent focus on transforming the group digitally for growth, make him extremely well placed to lead Singtel forward in an era of disruption.”

Yuen said Singtel was at an “exciting juncture” with 5G poised to impact the telecommunications sector as well as other industries. The executive holds a First Class Honours engineering degree from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Science in Management from Stanford University.

Chua had assumed the CEO position in 2007 and had been with Singtel since 1989. 

During her stint as chief, the telco had added Optus in Australia to its portfolio as well as invested stakes in major telecommunication players in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, Lee said. She also led Singtel’s digital transformation, including the digitalisation

Recasts with comments

SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters)Singapore Telecommunications Ltd STEL.SI appointed an insider as its new group CEO on Thursday amid a challenging time for the industry, saying its current chief will retire in January after 13 years at the helm.

Singtel said its board had chosen Yuen Kuan Moon, the CEO of its Singapore consumer business, to replace Chua Sock Koong, 63, who will stay on as a senior adviser to the chairman to assist with the transition.

Yuen, 53, has been with Singtel since 1993 and is also its group chief digital officer.

He takes over as the company, which gets the bulk of its business outside Singapore, has been hit by intensifying competition in overseas markets such as India and Australia.

At a virtual news conference on Thursday, Chairman Lee Theng Kiat said Yuen was chosen after a global search that considered internal and external candidates after Chua last year flagged her desire to retire.

Lee said Yuen’s “years of honed experience in the company’s core telecom business and his more recent focus on transforming the group digitally for growth, make him extremely well placed to lead Singtel forward in an era of disruption.”

Singtel shares traded 1.7% higher on Thursday, in line with the broader market .STI. They are still languishing near 12-year lows, down about 36% so far this year.

In the year ended March, Singtel’s net profit plunged about 65% to the lowest in more than two decades. It did not provide forecasts for the current year, citing uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Stephen Coates)

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