BANGKOK -- A close aide to Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun is on his way to a seat on the board of directors at industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Group, after being recently appointed to run the multibillion-dollar royal property management organization.
Air Chief Marshal Satitpong Sukwimol, 69, has long been responsible for managing King Vajiralongkorn's personal affairs and assets, and has grown more visible since the king succeeded his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in 2016.
He will become director at SCG, a blue chip founded by royal decree that has supplied building materials for over a century, upon approval at an annual shareholders meeting on March 28.
King Vajiralongkorn had also named him director-general of the Crown Property Bureau on Sunday, marking the first change in command there in 30 years, as well as lord chamberlain of the Royal Household Bureau. He replaced veteran courtier Chirayu Israngkun Na Ayuthaya, 74, in both roles.
Chirayu, who had run the CPB since 1987, meanwhile, was appointed to the Privy Council, the most senior advisory body to the king which counts seven retired generals among its 13 members.
The CPB manages the assets of the king, including major stakes in SCG and Siam Commercial Bank, the country's third-largest lender by assets. Last year, the king became a major shareholder in Siam Commercial Bank following the transfer of 3.33% of its shares -- valued at $507 million -- from the Crown Property Bureau.
Amid a number of changes to organizations linked to the royal household, Satitpong was named chairman of the CPB in July 2017. The position was previously held ex officio by the incumbent finance minister. The appointment followed an amendment of the Crown Property Act.
Chirayu became lord chamberlain of the royal household in September 2016 following the death of his predecessor.
According to SCG's invitation to shareholders, Satitpong was a liberal arts graduate from Chiang Mai University before joining the Royal Thai Air Force. He became personal secretary to then-Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in 2005, and served on the board of national flag carrier Thai Airways International from 2009 to 2013.