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Former tourism board chief Lionel Yeo named Sports Hub CEO

Lionel Yeo will begin his new role from Feb 3, 2020.

[SINGAPORE] The Sports Hub Pte Ltd (SHPL), the consortium that manages the S$1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub facility at Kallang, announced on Wednesday the appointment of former Singapore Tourism Board (STB) head Lionel Yeo as its new chief executive officer.

Mr Yeo will begin his new role from Feb 3, 2020, SHPL said in a media statement.

In the same release, Mr Yeo said: "The Singapore Sports Hub is a major national project that I had been involved with during my time in government service. I am aware of the challenges Sports Hub faces and also of its achievements and tremendous potential.

He will take over from SHPL chairman Bryn Jones, who had been acting CEO since April. The previous full-time CEO was Oon Jin Teik, a former national swimmer.

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Mr Oon had joined the Sports Hub in May 2014 as the chief operating officer, and was the acting CEO after Manu Sawhney quit abruptly in May 2017.

He took over the reins officially in January 2018 before leaving 16 months later in April this year.

Mr Yeo will be the fourth man to helm the Sports Hub after Frenchman Philippe Collin-Delavaud (March 2011 to December 2015), India-born Singaporean Mr Sawhney (October 2015 to May 2017) and Mr Oon (January 2018 to April 2019).

Mr Jones said: "We are delighted to have appointed Lionel after a search that began in June this year for a candidate."

He added: "The CEO has the all-important job to realise the Sports Hub's vision, goals and plans with the support of our partners and to work closely with them to deliver this vision and our long-term strategic plan to be the region's premier sport, entertainment and lifestyle destination."

Mr Yeo became STB chief in June 2012 and stepped down in May 2018. Four months later in September, he was announced as CEO adviser of ride-hailing company Grab.

During his six-year tenure at STB, Singapore secured several major sporting events, including the BNP Paribas Women's Tennis Association Finals, the Singapore Rugby Sevens and football's International Champions Cup.

In 2018, the Sports Hub hosted more than 210 events and welcomed more than three million visitors.