SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek dismisses reports of his potential resignation

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek dismisses reports of his potential resignation

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek
Former SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek. (File Photo)

SINGAPORE: SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek on Thursday (Jan 25) brushed aside talk that he is expected to step down, calling those reports "purely speculative".

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a programme that aims to better assist the elderly and those with special mobility needs. 

Rumours of Mr Kuek's possible resignation were fuelled by a Straits Times report last week that said observers are expecting him to step down. It also reported the resignation of the transport operator's vice-president of corporate communications, Patrick Nathan, adding that "more management changes (are) on the cards".

In an email on Jan 19 seen by Channel NewsAsia, Mr Kuek said that while it was not the company's practice to comment on market rumours, the report has "generated ground concern that must be addressed".

"I would like to assure you that when I do (step down), one day as we all must for leadership renewal, you will hear about it from me first.  It will not be through some speculative piece in the newspapers," he wrote.

There has been a series of changes to SMRT's management, and last December, SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming stepped down as CEO of Pavillion Energy to focus on his role with the transport operator.

Mr Kuek, meanwhile, has kept a low profile in recent months. Most notably, he did not helm a joint press conference on the causes of the Joo Koon train collision in November that injured almost 40 people and caused disruption to services that affected thousands of commuters.

SMRT has been under pressure from the public and the Government after a series of high-profile incidents. Apart from the Joo Koon train collision, there was the flooding of a section of an MRT tunnel in October which caused prolonged delays.

Source: CNA/gs