New CEO at TM but it’s not Imri, says Dr M

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters during his Hari Raya Open House at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya June 5, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters during his Hari Raya Open House at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya June 5, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, June 5 — A new chief executive officer for Telekom Malaysia (TM) has been appointed, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed today after reports of a delay and alleged stalemate over the appointment.

Dr Mahathir declined to name person, however, but offered that it was not the acting CEO Imri Mokhtar.

“He has been appointed. I don’t think, they have not announced yet, but I think he has been appointed,” he told reporters at the prime minister’s official residence here during the Hari Raya open house.

Telekom has been without a permanent CEO since the resignation of Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly who was also a media adviser for former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in June last year.

Following a May 31 news report by local business paper The Edge regarding the delay in appointing a permanent CEO, TM had on the same day clarified the matter via a company announcement on Bursa Malaysia.

In the May 31 company statement, TM explained that its board of directors had in November 2018 recommended Imri’s appointment as managing director and group CEO, adding that the recommendation was made to the listed company’s special shareholder, Minister of Finance (MoF) Incorporated.

MoF Inc had in a February 28, 2019 letter — to Imri, TM chairman Rosli Man and the company secretary — said it agreed to Imri’s appointment subject to “proper execution of documents and approval of the terms and condition”, TM said.

TM said its chairman had notified the board in early March 2019 that he had received a request to defer the appointment, saying that the company believes it is “good corporate governance to engage key stakeholders including the Prime Minister’s Office”.

“Any formal announcement relating to the above position will be made in due course,” the company said.

The Edge had cited sources in saying that the TM chairman had refused to appoint Imri as CEO despite MoF Inc’s decision to approve the appointment.

Local daily The Star reported Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng as having said on June 1 that both Rosli’s and Imri’s appointments as TM chairman and acting CEO were done according to procedures and based on orders that came directly from the prime minister.

Lim had then said he had not received any orders from Dr Mahathir to change either the chairman or CEO of TM.