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.
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?