IJM announces Group CEO & MD retirement, succession plan and new Chairman appointment
- Dato’ Soam Heng Choon to retire after a 30-year career with the company; Board of Directors appoints Liew Hau Seng as Group CEO and Managing Director effective 1 September 2019
- Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali to step down as Chairman at the conclusion of the upcoming Annual General Meeting on 28 August 2019; Tan Sri Krishnan Tan, Deputy Non-Executive Chairman appointed as Non-Executive Chairman
PETALING JAYA, 15 July 2019: IJM Corporation Berhad (“IJM” or “the Group”) announced today that Dato’ Soam Heng Choon will retire as CEO & Managing Director in end-August. The Board of Directors has appointed Liew Hau Seng, currently Managing Director of IJM’s Construction Division to succeed Dato’ Soam effective 1 September 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali, Chairman said: "Liew's appointment and this transition are part of a robust succession and talent pipeline process. We are confident that Liew will build on IJM’s solid financial and industry leader position. His drive, management skills, strategic acumen and strong track record of delivering consistent high-quality performance will help the Group achieve its long-term strategic goals. The Board warmly welcomes Liew to the role and looks forward to continued operational and financial success under Liew's leadership."
"Dato’ Soam will leave behind a considerable legacy. His achievements, integrity and commitment to serving the long-term interests of the company will always be remembered. On behalf of the Board, I want to sincerely thank Dato’ Soam for his dedicated service and for all that he has done for the development and progress of IJM," said Tan Sri Abdul Halim.
New perspective, established track record
Appointed from within the company – a testament to IJM’s strong bench of talent and succession planning – Liew Hau Seng, 53, began his career at IJM in 1989 as an Engineer in IJM’s Industry Division. Over the years, he rose through the ranks within IJM’s Construction Division from Senior Engineer in 1995, Senior Project Manager in 2003, Project Director in 2006, Operations Director in 2010 to Executive Director in 2012 to head the Division’s local operations. In 2015, Liew was appointed to his most recent post as Managing Director of the Construction Division, the Group’s largest business division in terms of revenue.
Having progressed in various leadership roles with hands-on exposure to the Group’s infrastructure and construction businesses, Liew has a deep understanding of the company, the industry, and the markets in which the Group operates. He has an excellent track record of leading IJM’s Construction business in both Malaysia and India. Liew was the project manager for IJM’s maiden projects in India which include the Mumbai – Pune Expressway and Chennai Bypass.
Currently overseeing an order book of RM6.7 billion, Liew also oversaw some of the Construction Division’s biggest and most iconic projects such as the LRT and MRT work packages, West Coast Expressway, Kuantan Port New Deep Water Terminal as well as the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Equatorial Hotel and BBCC Mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Liew is also actively involved in industry associations – he has been the Vice President of the Master Builders Association Malaysia since 2014, and is a Member of the Governing Council of the Malaysia-India Business Council. Liew earned his Bachelor of Engineering (1st Class Honours) in Civil Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia before completing his Master in Business Administration in 2011 in Help University.
"I am incredibly privileged and humbled to have the opportunity to lead IJM, an outstanding company with a history of industry leadership, in its next phase of growth. I want to thank the Board for the confidence they have placed in me with their decision. I look forward to upholding the delivery capabilities that IJM is known for and to sustaining its positive momentum. Dato’ Soam’s leadership has paved an excellent path for us to build upon and grow. Our focus will remain on delivering our world-class expertise and products to our clients and customers, as well as to deliver long-term growth and value creation for our multiple stakeholders," commented Liew.
Liew will be assisted by Lee Chun Fai, Deputy CEO & Deputy Managing Director, and a strong team of hands-on divisional business heads as well as a dedicated roster of professionals in the organisation.
Lee, 48, was appointed as Deputy CEO & Deputy Managing Director of the Group in 2015. With extensive experience in corporate finance, privatisation projects and financial management, Lee has been instrumental in the successful completion of various corporate exercises of the Group.
Appointment of new Chairman and Construction Division Head
The Group also announced that Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali, 76, will be stepping down as Chairman upon the conclusion of the company’s 35th Annual General Meeting on 28 August 2019. He joined the Board in 2007 and was subsequently appointed Chairman in 2011. Tan Sri Krishnan Tan, currently Deputy Non-Executive Chairman will assume the role of Chairman when Tan Sri Abdul Halim retires from the IJM Board.
Tan Sri Krishnan is a well-known industry figure and was the former CEO & Managing Director of IJM for 14 years until 2010. He remained on the Board as Deputy Chairman until his recent appointment as Chairman. Tan Sri Krishnan currently serves as Chairman of HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad and as a Director of Malaysia Airlines Berhad.
Ong Teng Cheng, 57, currently the Executive Director of IJM Construction Sdn Bhd, will succeed Liew to head the Group’s Construction Division. Ong has been with the Group for 28 years, having joined the Group as Senior Engineer in 1991. Over the years, he has led several major civil infrastructure and building projects namely the KL Monorail, various KLIA packages and the Puteri Cove and Almas Tower mixed development projects in Johor.
An industry stalwart and well-respected leader
Dato’ Soam Heng Choon, 60, has been with the company for 30 years. In 2013, Dato’ Soam was appointed Deputy CEO & Deputy Managing Director of IJM before assuming the role of CEO & Managing Director in 2015.
Dato’ Soam oversaw IJM’s construction order book reaching an all-time high of over RM9 billion with IJM executing some of its biggest projects in the company’s history. While helming the Property Division, he was credited for the development of IJM Land’s hallmark Seremban 2 and Bandar Rimbayu townships and its expansion into the London property market as well as for growing organically to become one of Malaysia’s top developers. In addition, Dato’ Soam played an instrumental role in the expansion of Kuantan Port and Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park.
A recognised advocate and authority of the construction and property development sectors in Malaysia, Dato’ Soam is currently serving as President of the Real Estate & Housing Developers' Association (REHDA) Malaysia.
Dato’ Soam said: “It has been an honour to serve and lead IJM. I am especially grateful for the team we created, and for the commitment as well as incredible support our people provided over the years. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together. IJM has demonstrated great resilience and strength over the years and I am confident that its best days are ahead.”
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About IJM Corporation Berhad
IJM Corporation Berhad (“IJM”), formed in 1983, is today one of Malaysia’s leading construction groups and is listed on Bursa Malaysia KLCI. Its business activities encompass construction, property development, manufacturing and quarrying, infrastructure concessions and plantations.
Headquartered in Selangor, its operations are located in 10 countries, with primary focus in Malaysia, India and Indonesia. The Group presently has a market capitalisation of around RM8.6 billion and as of March 2019, the Group employed around 4,600 employees and has total assets of RM23 billion.
The Group’s belief in a shared destiny with its employees remains pivotal to its growing success while its reputation for professionalism, performance and good governance is acknowledged by customers and investors alike from its numerous corporate and industry accolades. IJM is committed to ethical business conduct and subscribes to the principles of good corporate citizenship for sustainable growth and development.