PMO tells TM chairman to defer CEO appointment

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 31): Telekom Malaysia Bhd, which has not had a chief executive officer (CEO) for one year, said its chairman Rosli Man had deferred the appointment at the request of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

In a bourse filing posted in response to The Edge Financial Daily's article entitled “Telekom CEO Stand-Off” today, the telco giant said Rosli had informed the group’s board in early March about the PMO's request.

“We believe that it is good corporate governance to engage key stakeholders, including the Prime Minister’s Office,” TM said.

It revealed in the announcement that it had recommended the appointment of current acting CEO Imri Mokthar as its managing director (MD) and CEO to the Ministry of Finance.

"MoF has subsequently via a letter dated Feb 28 2019 addressed to Imri and copied to the chairman and the company secretary, agreed to appoint Imri as MD/CEO/executive director of TM, subject to proper execution of documents and approval of the terms and conditions," TM said in the announcement this evening.  

The Edge Financial Daily reported today that there is currently a standoff between Rosli and the MoF over the appointment of Imri as the group’s managing director and CEO.

It was reported that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad had given the green light to MoF for Imri’s appointment, and the ministry conveyed its decision through the letter dated Feb 28.

At TM’s AGM on Wednesday (May 29), some shareholders had asked about the delay in appointing a CEO and were told by the chairman that no decision has been made by the controlling shareholders.

Rosli declined to meet the media after the AGM, but in response to questions posed by The Edge Financial Daily, the company issued a statement to say that the appointment of a new CEO had to go through due process with its controlling shareholders and the board.

TM is a government-linked company (GLC), in which Khazanah Nasional Bhd has a 26% stake. MoF has a special share which gives it power to make certain decisions.

The telco’s share price went up 4.34% or 15 sen to RM3.61 today, with 64.05 million shares exchanging hands, giving it a market capitalisation of RM13.56 billion. 

Read also: Telekom CEO standoff