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Seah Kian Peng to take over duties of NTUC FairPrice's group CEO from Jan 1 (Amended)

NTUC FairPrice on Monday said Seah Kian Peng, its current Singapore chief executive, will assume the role of the group chief executive from Jan 1, 2016.

NTUC FairPrice on Monday said Seah Kian Peng, its current Singapore chief executive, will assume the duties of the group chief executive from Jan 1, 2016.

Mr Seah will take over the duties of Tan Kian Chew, who will step down at the end of the year after 23 years of service to join the Singapore Labour Foundation as CEO.

Mr Tan had joined NTUC FairPrice in 1992 as one of its assistant general manager before rising up the ranks to become the general manager of operations and corporate planning in 1994, chief operating officer in 1995, deputy CEO in 1996 and CEO in 1997.

During his tenure, Mr Tan focused NTUC FairPrice on its social mission of moderating the cost of living for daily essentials.

These include absorbing the initial impact of the goods & services tax, launching the "Everyday Low Price" basket of goods and introducing the 2 per cent discount for seniors and 3 per cent discount for pioneers, which benefited more than 170,000 seniors every week.

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Most notable during Mr Tan's tenure was the role the cooperative played during nation's times of crisis to ensure the supply of essential products, stabilise their prices and prevent profiteering.

He is also credited for setting up NTUC FairPrice Foundation in 2006, to enhance the welfare of workers, and to help the poor and needy. NTUC FairPrice has since donated S$88 million to the foundation, and the foundation has since disbursed close to S$70 million to beneficiaries.

Under Mr Tan's leadership, NTUC FairPrice also grew quickly to become Singapore's leading retailer with annual sales growth from S$752 million in 1997 to S$3.2 billion in 2014, attaining a market share of 59 per cent in 2014. Profit before tax also rose from S$49 million in 1997 to S$227 million in 2014 and net assets of the cooperative rose from S$217 million to S$1.5 billion during the period.

Bobby Chin, chairman of NTUC FairPrice, expressed deep appreciation for Mr Tan's service and pointed out that the long-timer has helped to build and strengthen the social enterprise.

Mr Chin added that he is confident that under Mr Seah's leadership, FairPrice will continue to enhance its social mission and contribute to the well-being of all in Singapore.

Mr Seah, who has worked in both the public and private sector, joined the National Trades Union Congress - Administration & Research Unit (NTUC-ARU) in June 1996.

He was seconded to NTUC FairPrice in February 2001 as COO and led the group in various capacities.

Under Mr Seah's leadership, FairPrice said it increased its footprint in Singapore from 99 to 290 stores with the opening of new formats to meet the evolving needs of the people in Singapore, among other things.

Amendment: NTUC FairPrice has clarified that Mr Seah will assume Mr Tan's duties from next year but retain his current title as Singapore CEO and not group CEO as indicated in its ambiguous press release.

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