Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Malaysian CEOs Part 2

Well, I got a lot of feedback on the CEO issue following my mentioning of Nazir Razak. There have been naysayers who reminded me that the family name and connections played a significant part. I have to say that there are plenty of people who got to the top with just connections and by having the right family name - but the crux is what do you with it.

I have extended the list, its not just GLCs CEOs, but after surveying the CEOs of listed companies in the country, these 4 would be part of the top 5. Hassan Merican would have easily made the list as well but let's just look at the current crop.

Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas

was formerly the President / Chief Executive Officer of MISC Berhad and just recently appointed to the top post of Petronas. I can tell you that a lot of observers breathed a sigh of deep relief when his appointment was confirmed as the stewardship of Petronas assets was at stake.

Shamsul holds a degree in Political Science from Science University of Malaysia, a Masters of Science Degree (MSc.) in Energy Management from University of Pennsylvania, USA and a Technical Diploma in Petroleum Economics from Institute Francaise du Petrole (IFP), France. He joined PETRONAS in 1975 and has held various senior management positions in PETRONAS including Vice President, Petrochemical Business, Vice President, Oil Business, Vice President, Exploration and Production Business and Vice President, Logistics & Maritime Business. On 1 July 2004, he was appointed as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of MISC.

  • Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim
Jamaludin Bin Ibrahim

Jamaludin Ibrahim joined Axiata Group Berhad (formerly known as TM International Berhad) on March 2008 as the President and Group Chief Executive Officer. He is also a board member of Axiata Group. Prior to that, Jamaludin was with Maxis Communications Berhad, which he joined in 1997 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in the same year, and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. In 2006, he was redesignated the Group Chief Executive Officer to reflect Maxis’ international footprint. He retired from Maxis in July 2007 but remained as a Board member till February 2008.

During Jamaludin’s decade of leadership with Maxis, the company’s revenue grew more than twenty-fold to about USD2.3 billion, net profit grew to about USD600 million and market capitalisation swelled to more than USD11 billion in 2007 (before the privatisation).

Before joining Maxis, he spent 16 years in the IT Industry. He was Managing Director and CEO of Digital Equipment Malaysia (a Malaysian branch of Digital Equipment, then the second largest IT Company worldwide) from 1993 to 1997. Jamaludin also spent 12 years in IBM (1981-93), the first five years as Systems Engineer and then in various positions in Sales, Marketing Support and Management. Prior to IBM, he was a lecturer in Quantitative Methods at California State University, United States in 1980. Jamaludin graduated from California State University in 1978 with a B.Sc. in Business Administration and minor in Mathematics. He obtained his MBA from Portland State University, Oregon in 1980.

Jamaludin is the Chairman of Celcom Axiata Berhad (formerly known as Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad), the second largest mobile company in Malaysia, and sits on the board of PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL) Indonesia, MobileOne Ltd (M1) Singapore, as well as one local university. In 2008, Jamaludin was appointed board member of the GSMA (the global World GSM Association). He was also appointed board member of Multimedia Development Corporation Malaysia (MDeC) in 2009.

Jamaludin earned the accolade of Malaysia’s ‘CEO of the Year’ 2000 by American Express & Business Times and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for ‘Services to the Mobile Telecommunications Industry’ by Asian Mobile News in 2004. He was also named Asian Mobile Operator CEO of the Year by Asian Mobile News Awards 2007.

Amir Hamzah Bin Azizan was appointed President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of MISC Berhad on 1 January 2009. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management (majoring in Finance and Economics) from Syracuse University, New York. He had also attended the Stanford Executive Programme at Stanford University, USA and the Corporate Finance Evening Programme at the London Business School, United Kingdom.

Amir Hamzah joined MISC in 2000 and was the Group's General Manager, Corporate Planning Services. Subsequently in 2004 he was the Regional Business Director (Europe, Americas, Africa and FSU) of MISC based in London, UK before being appointed President / CEO, AET Tanker Holdings Sdn Bhd on 1 April 2005.

Prior to joining MISC, he served the Shell Group of Companies for ten years in various capacities including Head of Financial Services and Manager, Planning & Support at Sarawak Shell Berhad, Marketing Credit Accountant at Shell Singapore Ptd Ltd, Internal Auditor at Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd and Senior Treasury Advisor at Shell International Ltd, London. Amir Hamzah is Chairman of the Boards of major subsidiaries of MISC Berhad, among which includes Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd, MISC Integrated Logistics Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Maritime Academy Sdn Bhd and MISC Agencies Sdn Bhd.

Amir Hamzah is also Deputy Chairman, AET Tanker Holdings Sdn Bhd. He is also Director of Bintulu Port Holdings Berhad and NCB Holdings Berhad. Amir Hamzah is Board member of UK P&I Club, PETRONAS Maritime Services Sdn Bhd, as well as Executive Committee member of INTERTANKO. He is also council member of the American Bureau of Shipping, and General Committee Member of Bureau Veritas. He is also a member of Management Committee of PETRONAS.mir Hamzah bin Azizan was appointed as the President / Chief Executive Officer of MISC Berhad on 1 January 2009.

Raised in a fishing village, Chia Song Kun graduated from University Malaya with a B Sc (Hon) degree majoring in Mathematics and worked as a lecturer with Mara Institute of Technology before venturing into private education business and co-founded Inti College (now Inti Universal Holdings Berhad). Having been there and done that, Chia decided to return to his roots - the fishery business, and together with his family members, started QL Group.

Chia nurtured and transformed the business into a diversified agro-based Group with interests in processing of marine products, livestock farming and palm-based activities. Adopting a "win-win" approach, QL Group has now become the largest distributor of animal feed and surimi-based products manufacturer in Malaysia, the largest producer of surimi in Asia, as well as a leading poultry egg producer in Malaysia. Its products could also be found in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, China, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Under his visionary leadership, QL was listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2000 and since then, the Group recorded a healthy turnover and net profit 5-year CAGR of 18% pa and 22% pa respectively. Today, QL Group has sales of more than RM1.4 billion, employing more than 3,000 employees.

Under the leadership of Mr Chia Song Kun, QL has developed a business model that has the following sustainability:
• Stable, broad-based and ample opportunity for growth.
• All 3 core activities are based on Malaysian agriculture resources.
• Food-based business is resilient and has full of value adding and export potential.
• Well aligned with government’s initiatives to grow the fisheries & agriculture industry.
• Able to enjoy tax incentives that are available under the agricultural & fisheries sectors.


My Views said...

most of them are in necessity industries or business and sort of monopoly and protected..anyone can nurture "google","apple"..that only can consider great as CEOs..

Salvatore_Dali said...

i don't think google and apple qualifies at all ... they are basically owners, invesntors, entrepreneurs who r still there ... a CEO is someone who manges and nurtures professionally .... i don't think eric schmidt qualifies as a ceo when the two founders r still around the company, in title yes eric is the ceo, but its when the two founders r no longer there that we can see if the real ceo can run things ... same for apple... apple is jobs, apple suffered without jobs ... but jobs is not just a ceo, he is the driving force, brain, design guru ... can one man drive all that, yes, but he is not a classical ceo per se ... a ceo who does not invent, create ... when jobs is no longer around... thats a ceo

billing said...

Can you write a post on "Worst Malaysian CEOs"? That will be very interesting!

sapekuluk said...


that's a fun idea....

bombarzi said...

Back to cronynism and nepotism as opposed to capabilities. First 3 names in your posting are all connected to Tan Sri Azizan,the late Chairman of Petronas. Except for Shamsul who was the Chairman's personal assistant whilst in Petronas, Jamaluddin and Amir Azizan are his SIL and son. Obviouly Jamaludding couldn't handle the superfast Maxis expansion and had to jump off the wagon whilst Amir, elevated through Shell favours and Petronas appointments, could not provide any illuminating ideas to reverse MISC's ailing future; family favours still play a big part in his move to a safe Petronas company as MISC is expected to encounter more serious challenges under the current volatile economic environment.

Your choice of Great M'sian CEOs leaves much to be desired.