DRB-Hicom appoints Wan Zulkiflee as chairman

DRB-Hicom Bhd has appointed former Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin (picture) as its non-executive chairman effective September 1, 2020.

He replaces Datuk Mohammad Zainal Shaari, whose resignation takes effect from August 31, 2020.

DRB-Hicom had appointed the former Petronas chief as an independent non-executive director on Aug 1 this year, before redesignating him to the position of chairman.

Wan Zulkiflee, 60, is currently the non-executive group chairman of Malaysia Airlines Bhd and Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd since July 1, 2020.

Before joining Malaysia Airlines, Wan Zulkiflee served as president and group CEO of Petronas from April 2015 until June 2020.

He began his career with the national oil company in 1983 and has held various positions within the Petronas group.

Wan Zulkiflee also held positions at global and regional bodies, including as a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Stewardship Board of System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Energy, a member of the WEF Oil & Gas Governors Forum and the WEF Oil & Gas Industry Action Group, and served as Malaysia’s alternate member on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

“The board and I are delighted to have the esteemed calibre of Wan Zulkiflee with his proven leadership at the global arena as our chairman in the furtherance of the group’s strategic direction and focus at this current time,” DRB-Hicom group MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said in a statement today.

He also thanked Mohammad Zainal for his contributions and commitment towards the group’s long-term success.

Mohammad Zainal has been appointed to serve on the board of Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM), as well as chairman of Hicom-Yamaha Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Both companies are within the DRB-Hicom stable.

Under his watch, DRB-Hicom turned profitable starting in the financial year ended March 31, 2019, after three years of consecutive losses.

During the period, the group also underwent a RM 3.5 billion debt restructuring exercise to improve its cash flows. The business performance of the companies within the group also generally improved.