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StarHub taps telecom veteran as CEO after global search

Kaliaropoulos returns as Singaporean company faces heavy competition

A new CEO will take the helm at StarHub, Singapore's second-largest telecom. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

SINGAPORE -- StarHub, Singapore's second-largest telecom carrier, has appointed industry veteran and former employee Peter Kaliaropoulos to replace CEO Tan Tong Hai.

The Australian takes the post July 9, moving from his current role as CEO of mobile company Zain Saudi Arabia.

"This appointment is the result of an extensive and rigorous global executive search," said StarHub Chairman Terry Clontz.

Kaliaropoulos, a former executive team member who helped launch StarHub in 2000, also has served as a board director with telecommunications companies and industry startups in Australia, the U.S., Singapore, India and the Middle East.

Clontz said that the company has confidence that Kaliaropoulos will lead it "in pursuing new opportunities and managing the challenges that operators face today."

The announcement comes months after Tan said he would step down to "pursue [his] own interests." Tan became chief operating officer in 2009 before his promotion to CEO in 2013. StarHub developed its enterprise business under Tan's leadership, helping the company expand through acquisitions and investments including in local media company mm2 Asia.

Peter Kaliaropoulos   © Reuters

StarHub faces tough competition in its home market, where penetration of smartphone and mobile broadband exceeds 100%. Rivals include Singapore Telecommunications as well as emerging mobile network operators such as TPG Telecom, which is scheduled to begin operations later this year.

To ensure continued growth, StarHub works with external partners to upgrade its offerings. It announced a partnership this month with marina developer and operator SUTL Enterprise to launch a digital marketplace for high-end goods and services. Last year, the company joined with Chinese messaging app WeChat, operated by Tencent Holdings, to debut a SIM card that offers travelers unlimited service during their stay in Singapore.

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