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SBS Transit CEO to step down, COO to be acting CEO from March 1

SBS Transit has promoted its chief operating officer (COO) Cheng Siak Kian to acting chief executive officer (CEO).

The change takes effect on March 1.

Mr Cheng, 50, replaces Yang Ban Seng, 63, who will relinquish his role as CEO on the same day. Mr Yang, who has been CEO of SBS Transit since January 2019, will remain as executive deputy chairman of the company.

Mr Yang is also concurrently the managing director and group CEO of ComfortDelGro.

In a statement, SBS Transit said of Mr Cheng: "He joined SBS Transit in September 2015, where he cut his teeth in the operations and management of public transportation as a senior vice-president in the bus operations division. During his time there, he was an integral member of the tender team that was successful in its bid for the Seletar Bus Package, which was a first for the company.

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"Subsequently in December 2016, he was posted to Australia to helm the Australia New South Wales operations of our parent company ComfortDelGro. He played an instrumental role in several business acquisitions, and moved the company into new areas such as non-emergency patient transportation and expanded its footprint to new states such as the Northern Territory and Queensland. He returned to SBS Transit in July 2019 to assume the appointment of COO to assist Mr Yang Ban Seng, the interim CEO, in the management of the Company."

Prior to joining the ComfortDelGro group, Mr Cheng served in a number of senior appointments in the Ministry of Defence and the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Mr Yang said Mr Cheng's experience in running SBS Transit's bus operations, both here and in Australia, has made him a natural choice for the leadership position in SBS Transit.

"One of the key areas Siak Kian needed to get up to speed on when he took on the role of COO SBS Transit was that of the rail business. He has done this in double-quick time and I am confident he will lead the Company to even greater heights," he said.

Lim Jit Poh, chairman of both SBS Transit and ComfortDelGro, said Mr Cheng had transitioned well from the military environment to the private sector. "As we grow the business, we have to look at talent from all disciplines. Retired senior military personnel have been drilled in discipline and responsibility and have certain skillsets. At the end of the day, it is about talent. It doesn't matter where they came from but whether they can contribute to the group."   

SBS Transit shares fell one cent or 0.29 per cent to S$3.49 on Friday.

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