No longer a Goodyear for Temasek

Ho Ching & Charles Goodyear together with Dhanabalan

Ho Ching & Charles Goodyear together with Dhanabalan at appointment, in happier days

Shocking news.  Charles “Chip” W. Goodyear and Temasek Holdings have mutually agreed to part ways after 3-odd months as CEO-Designate, citing that “there were differences regarding certain strategic issues that could not be resolved.”  Ho Ching had stepped down days before Temasek announced a $39 billion loss in its portfolio.  Almost four months on, its freshly appointed CEO-Designate leaves at a point where the global economy is just beginning to perk up.  I’m sure the timing is a mere coincidence, albeit an uncanny one at that.  More about Mr. Goodyear’s departure over here and at Bloomberg.

This abrupt about-turn will do no wonders for Temasek’s already-battered public image.  I do not expect Temasek’s public/investor relations team to react in any way, although I’d wager my bottom dollar our Prime Minister and perhaps even Minister Mentor may be forced to say a few words to quell an already-irate public that has yet to forget, much less forgive the embattled investment firm for the massive losses to our nation’s reserves.

I immediately pinged a contact of mine (who shall remain unnamed) who I later found out had only spent a brief 3 months in Temasek, to seek his insights.  He has agreed to share the following excerpt on the condition of anonymity.

Adium chat on Goodyear and Temasek

I have two other friends who are currently working at Temasek Holdings that I could try my luck with to get a more accurate picture, but I suspect they’ll remain tight-lipped.  Bummer.

Update 1: WSJ has more dirt on the story behind Mr. Goodyear’s departure.

The 51-year-old American’s decision however came after some of his initiatives to bring about change met with a poor reception. His proposals for the firm’s new strategic direction were considered too risky by some, a person familiar with the situation said, without elaborating.

In addition, this person said Mr. Goodyear planned changes in senior management that weren’t well received by Temasek’s board.

Update 2: I was directed to this cute poster – thanks KQ!  Runaway CEO eh?

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.