ComfortDelGro appoints SBS Transit chief executive Cheng Siak Kian as deputy CEO

TRANSPORT operator ComfortDelGro C52 on Wednesday (Mar 16) announced that it has appointed Cheng Siak Kian, the chief executive of SBS Transit S61 , as its group deputy chief executive. His appointment takes effect immediately.

In addition to being the CEO of SBS Transit, Cheng will also assume the post of executive deputy chairman there - the role now filled by Yang Ban Seng.

Yang, who is also the group chief executive of ComfortDelGro, will not seek re-election at the upcoming annual general meeting of SBS Transit.

This replacement will be subject to re-election at SBS Transit's AGM on Apr 28.

In his new role at ComfortDelGro, Cheng will work with Yang to align the management around the strategic objectives of the ComfortDelGro group. He will also focus on the group's overseas businesses and its global expansion strategy.

ComfortDelGro's chairman Lim Jit Poh said the management changes are in line with the group's planned succession strategy. Prior to Cheng's appointment, ComfortDelGro had embarked on a year-long search, during which both internal and external candidates were assessed.

Said Lim: "We were cognisant that we have to find someone who can steer the group into its next phase of growth, as well as have the ability to navigate the highly regulated industries we operate in. The person has to have the gumption to make difficult decisions as we face growing challenges in a highly competitive world, and have the charisma and conviction to lead our global workforce of 22,000 into the future."

Cheng was employed by ComfortDelGro in 2015, and then seconded to SBS Transit as senior vice-president of the group's bus division. SBS Transit is 74.43 per cent owned by ComfortDelGro.

In 2016, he moved to Australia to assume the position of chief executive of ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (New South Wales).

He returned to Singapore in July 2019 as SBS Transit's chief operating officer. He was appointed acting chief executive of the company in March 2020, and then promoted to chief executive a year later.

Cheng was also a commander in the Singapore Airforce from 2014 to 2015.

ComfortDelGro's board of directors said it has reviewed his performance and decided to appoint him as the group's deputy chief executive alongside his role as SBS Transit's chief executive, after taking into account his personal attributes, qualifications and experience in managing the public-transport business - primarily in bus and rail operations.

He holds 16,250 ordinary shares in ComfortDelGro, and sits on the board of SBS Transit as a non-independent executive director.

Shares of ComfortDelGro closed on Wednesday at S$1.40, up 2.9 per cent or S$0.04.

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