FGV Holdings Bhd has named chairman Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid as the company’s interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed to fill the position vacated by Datuk Zakaria Arshad.
In an exchange filing yesterday, the government-linked agri-business company said Azhar’s appointment is on an interim basis and was agreed upon by the Ministry of Finance Inc (MoF Inc).
Azhar’s current role as chairman of the FGV board remains unchanged, it said.
Following his appointment, the Special Board Committee 2, which was tasked to perform the functions of group president and CEO for the company, is disbanded.
The special committee was formed after Zakaria resigned from his position on Sept 18 this year, just six days after he was suspended and stripped of all his duties. This was his second suspension in 15 months.
Zakaria’s resignation came after he was issued a notice of inquiry following the conclusion of FGV’s internal investigations into 10 critical issues.
MoF Inc had also withdrawn its nomination of Zakaria as the government-appointed director of the company.
FGV, the world’s largest crude palm oil producer, has been saddled with allegations of questionable dealings, undue political influence and poor financial showings.
This has put pressure on the company’s shares which lost some 35% or RM2.74 billion in value since Jan 12, 2018. The plantation company is currently undertaking a turnaround plan which is expected to see more managerial changes this year.
Earlier, Azhar said there are about 10 to 11 contenders for the group president and CEO positions at the company, comprising both internal and external candidates. The company is open to having a foreign CEO, but it prefers a local candidate to lead the organisation, he said.
Investigations into FGV’s past investments and the management changes are expected to be concluded by end-2018.