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Design Studio chief quits; board reshuffles with interim CEO named

MAINBOARD-LISTED Design Studio Group's chief executive Edgar Ramani has resigned with effect from Dec 4 to pursue other career opportunities, and director Steven Salo has been appointed interim CEO.

Mr Salo is the group chief financial officer of Depa Limited and a director nominated by Design Studio’s controlling shareholder Depa Interiors. Depa Interiors is a unit of Depa United Group, which is in turn a subsidiary of Depa Limited.

Mr Ramani, who is also an executive director, will remain as an employee of the company in the immediate term to ensure a smooth transition, said the provider of interior fit-out and panelling products in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The group added that Mr Salo has experience in both operational turnarounds and restructurings. He will lead the company on an interim basis until a permanent chief executive is appointed.

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He has been redesignated executive director from non-executive director, and ceased to be a member of the group’s audit committee. 

Accordingly, Marwan Shehadeh has been appointed as a member of the audit committee in place of Mr Salo.

The announcement follows this morning's report that Design Studio is taking an unsecured loan of up to 20 million dirham (S$7.4 million) from Depa United Group. In connection with the loan, Design Studio is required to approve a business plan and restructuring strategy.

This includes the appointment of a chief restructuring officer and the transfer of the group’s executive leadership to a Depa nominee or a candidate sourced by the Dubai-listed group.

Design Studio shares were trading at seven Singapore cents on Thursday as at 1.35pm, down 0.5 cent or 6.7 per cent.