by IZZAT RATNA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
DRB-HICOM Bhd said Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali will leave his post as CEO of Proton Holdings Bhd by the end of September, as the automotive group welcomes new board and management members from new shareholder Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd.
DRB-Hicom group MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza (picture) last Friday said Ahmad Fuaad has done an impeccable job in his short tenure at Proton, including rolling out four new models in a span of eight months.
“He also played a vital role in closing Proton’s search for a suitable foreign strategic partner as it was one of the key priorities of DRB-Hicom at the point of our acquisition of Proton in 2012,” Syed Faisal said in a release.
Ahmad Fuaad was appointed as CEO of Proton — which is the holding company of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (PONSB) — on April 1, 2016, after assuming the position of COO and senior group direc
tor of DRB-Hicom in 2013. “PONSB is the bulk of the operations of Proton Group; therefore, it is critical that we have the right person for the job. An announcement shall be made in due course,” he said. Syed Faisal will remain as chairman of Proton.
In order to ensure a smooth integration, Datuk Radzaif Mohamed will remain as a key officer in Proton Group and will continue his role as deputy CEO at PONSB.
Similarly, Abdul Rashid Musa, who was named as Proton Edar Sdn Bhd CEO in February 2017 will remain at his position at the distribution arm.
Syed Faisal said the two key senior officers remaining in their positions are expected to ensure the continuity within the Proton Group, as well as ease the transition for the future CEO of PONSB.
Geely — which holds a 49.9% stake in Proton — aims to lend its expertise in the area of production, manufacturing, operations and marketing to help turn around the loss-making local automaker.
DRB-Hicom and Geely are now working towards completion of this corporate transaction, which is expected to materialise very soon. Both entities are intensifying efforts to finalise the detailed business plan for Proton Group, Syed Faisal added.
The aforementioned plan is vital towards producing a solid “roadmap” for Proton in the years ahead and is one of the key items to be concluded as part of the completion exercise.
The new business plan will incorporate strategies for both companies to develop new vehicles together for the global market.
Upon the completion of the shareholder deal, an announcement shall be made in relation to the composition of the board of directors of these companies.
The board shall have representation from both DRB-Hicom and Geely.