Singapore govt to face query on Goodyear exit


Singapore’s government will be quizzed by lawmakers today over the unexpected departure of former BHP Billiton Plc chief executive officer Charles “Chip” Goodyear, who was to have taken the helm at Temasek Holdings Pte.

Finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be asked at the start of the parliamentary session why Goodyear quit so suddenly last month, what his compensation was and if there is a deadline for the search for a CEO to replace Ho Ching at the US$114 billion (US$1 = RM3.54) state-run investment fund, according to an order paper that outlines the agenda for tomorrow’s session.

Temasek, owned by the Ministry of Finance, in July abandoned a plan for US-born Goodyear, 51, to become its first foreign-born CEO because of differences over strategy. Temasek said Ho will remain in charge.

Low Thia Khiang, one of two opposition members among the 84 elected members in parliament, will ask what the strategic differences between Temasek and Goodyear were and when they surfaced.

Lim Biow Chuan and Seah Kian Peng, two members of the ruling People’s Action Party, will ask why Goodyear left even though there were assurances he shared Temasek’s values. Temasek said in February Goodyear would take over from Ho in October.

Questions on whether Goodyear was paid a “golden handshake” and if the government is concerned about a leadership renewal at Temasek in the wake of Goodyear’s departure will also be raised.

A Ministry of Finance spokesman said the government’s response will be delivered in Parliament today.

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