Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh has been named the new chief of Sime Darby Bhd and analysts think he could be the man to fix the conglomerate based on his track record.
Bakke earned his spurs after he helped to restructure Lembaga Tabung Haji in 2001-2002 following fraudulent withdrawals and poor investment decisions. The 56-year-old Bakke is currently group president and chief executive of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd, the overseas investment arm of Felda Group.
TA Securities analyst James Ratnam said Bakke's appointment as Sime Darby's president and group chief executive makes sense due to his experience in plantations and properties and these are the divisions that contribute most to the company's bottomline. "He's reputed to be straightforward and takes a hands-on approach in managing large entities," Ratnam said.
Bakke's appointment, which will happen "as soon as practicable" comes in the wake of Sime Darby losing about RM1 billion from several energy and utility projects.
Shares of Sime Darby rose one sen to close at RM7.81 yesterday.
Mercury Securities senior analyst Edmund Tham said he had expected the appointment to come from among existing leaders in other government-linked companies.