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The 15-year search for Ho Ching’s successor at Temasek Holdings

SINGAPORE — For more than 15 years, state investor Temasek Holdings has been searching, on and off, for a successor to its current chief executive officer (CEO) Ho Ching.

The 15-year search for Ho Ching’s successor at Temasek Holdings

Madam Ho Ching joined Temasek Holdings as a director in 2002 and took over as chief executive officer in 2004.

SINGAPORE — For more than 15 years, state investor Temasek Holdings has been searching, on and off, for a successor to its current chief executive officer (CEO) Ho Ching.

Temasek announced on Tuesday (Feb 9) that Madam Ho, 67, would step down on Oct 1, to be replaced in the top job by Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, 57.

Although Temasek is a holding company owned by and accountable to the Singapore Government, Temasek appoints its own board and is managed independently by the organisation.

Here is a timeline of the career of Madam Ho, who is the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at Temasek Holdings and its leadership transition plans.

Early 2002: Mdm Ho joins Temasek Holdings as a director and then later, as an executive director, having stepped down as president and CEO at Singapore Technologies group in 2001.

Jan 1, 2004: Mdm Ho assumes the role of CEO of Temasek Holdings.

Early 2005: Temasek begins its search for a successor to Mdm Ho, according to a statement by the state investor.

Feb 1, 2009: American Charles “Chip” W Goodyear joins Temasek’s board. Mr Goodyear had retired from BHP Billiton, one of the world’s largest mining companies, the previous year.

Feb 6, 2009: Temasek announces that Mr Goodyear will succeed Mdm Ho as its CEO.

March 1, 2009: Mr Goodyear becomes Temasek’s CEO-designate. He is slated to take over Temasek’s reins on Oct 1, 2009.

July 21, 2009: Mr Goodyear announces his shock resignation from Temasek’s board. In a joint statement, Temasek and Mr Goodyear said that there were differences regarding “certain strategic issues that could not be resolved”.

Aug 19, 2009: Then-Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in Parliament that Mr Goodyear’s exit was “a dent in the reputation” and “a very visible dent in the fender” of Temasek. Mr Tharman said the CEO of Temasek should ideally be a Singaporean.

April 20, 2015: Mdm Ho takes a sabbatical of three months, appointing Temasek president Lee Theng Kiat to cover her duties in her absence. The move triggers public scrutiny of Temasek’s succession plans.

March 19, 2019: Mdm Ho relinquishes her role as chairman of investment arm Temasek International to Mr Lee Theng Kiat, who was its CEO. In turn, Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, who had joined Temasek in 2010, was appointed as CEO of Temasek International.

Feb 9, 2021: Temasek Holdings announces that Mdm Ho will retire as CEO and executive director on Oct 1, 2021. Mr Pillay was named as her successor. Mr Lee continues as a Temasek board member and chairman of Temasek International.

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Temasek Holdings Ho Ching Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara

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