Sime names Bakke CEO

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.

Sime Darby's board has yet to meet Bakke. "He's travelling. We've not had a chance to discuss employment tenure and possible salary package," Sime Darby chairman Tun Musa Hitam said at a press conference yesterday.

He then said it might be timely to take a fresh look at remuneration although the board is guided by market rates.

Asked if Bakke's appointment was recommended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, he replied, "No, the Prime Minister does not recommend. The Nomination Committee within the Board recommended Datuk Bakke and I'm pleased to say he is eminently suitable for the job."

Musa also declined to say who else was recommended for the job. Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid, the head of Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, will continue to be acting chief executive of Sime Darby until Bakke assumes his new role.

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.

2 Responses to Sime names Bakke CEO

  1. humble malaysian 30 June 2010 at 16:10

    Bakke's immediate task is to restore investors and the public confidence in Sime by getting rid of all the wrong doers not limited to the oil & gas group but also in the plantation group.

    It is a market knowledge that the head of engineering group in sime plantation is all powerful and all the downlines have no say eventhough some of them are experienced.

    The North Port Palm Oil Refinery was handled very high-handedly and in the name of "international standards' and "order from the top", the major contract was awarded without calling for tender.
    The RM50 million tank farm contract was awarded without calling for a tender to a contractor who has no previous experiene and record of building tanks. The market knows for a fact now that all the tanks are collapsing now even before being used.
    The whole project was reported to cost RM250 million which anybody with a bit of experience will know that this is easily more than double of
    what it will cost in Malaysian shore.
    Do you mean that you have paid European prices to build a simple refinery in Malaysian shore?
    The second upcoming Project in Kalimantan was reportedly awarded without calling for tender or quotation.
    With collapsing tanks and questionable supplies,
    surely heads must roll.....
    If Bakke cannot undo all the wrong's, then MACC should step in immediately before more damage to Sime will to occur!!

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