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Telecommunication

Singtel taps digital transformation chief Yuen as new CEO

Telecom operator to update growth strategy as share price suffers

After a global search, Singtel went in-house to replace retiring Group CEO Chua Sock Koong, who has been at the helm since 2007.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Singapore Telecommunications has named Chief Digital Officer Yuen Kuan Moon to succeed Group CEO Chua Sock Koong after she steps down Jan. 1, with an eye toward the shift to 5G services.

The board of Southeast Asia's biggest telecom company conducted a global search for a replacement for Chua, who has been at the helm since 2007. But it ultimately picked insider Yuen, who has been with the group since 1993 and also runs its domestic consumer business. His work leading digital transformation efforts was a big factor in the decision announced Thursday.

Chief Digital Officer Yuen Kuan Moon, who has led Singtel's digital transformation efforts, will become group CEO in 2021. (Photo courtesy of Singtel)

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital tools for both individuals and corporations, creating new opportunities, Yuen told a news conference Thursday. The company will make appropriate investments in a planned online-only bank, he said.

As it rolls out 5G service, Singtel faces tough competition from newcomers that use other carriers' network infrastructure instead of having their own.

While the digital business is Singtel's top priority, its Hooq streaming service filed for liquidation this year, and its Amobee digital advertising platform has taken a hit from COVID-19. With Singtel stock sinking to a 12-year low, expectations are high for Yuen to overhaul the company's growth strategy.

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