SMRT responds to talk on management shifts, specifically names Desmond Kuek in statement

SMRT responds to talk on management shifts, specifically names Desmond Kuek in statement

Mothership.SG·2018-01-22 14:05

Earlier Friday, The Straits Times‘s veteran transport correspondent Christopher Tan that is by this point morphing into a prediction: that SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek may soon enough step down from his post.

Straits Times reports SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek expected to step down

This comes on the back of fascinating revelations from ST and Today on Thursday evening and Friday morning, that SMRT’s vice president of corporate communications Patrick Nathan has resigned:

SMRT’s communications is so confusing, you don’t know for sure if its chief spokesman resigned

Well, maybe he did. He dismisses the news as “rumours”, but didn’t deny them. We aren’t too sure.

Anyway, in response to media speculation, as well as queries to the company, SMRT’s head of corporate marketing and communications Margaret Teo gave the following statement:

“The Chairman and Board of Directors remain focused on providing stewardship and working closely with Management, led by Group CEO Mr Desmond Kuek, to deliver on various key initiatives including asset renewal projects. The Board has confidence in the Management team and ongoing efforts to enhance management, operational and maintenance capabilities.”

Interestingly, even though she didn’t have to, Teo’s statement specifically names Kuek as “leading” the effort to deliver on the transport operator’s projects and initiatives.

It’s notable, especially in light of ST‘s Tan’s seemingly repeated assertions that Kuek could potentially be resigning at some point.

Another interestingly glaring omission from the statement: Patrick Nathan’s name.

So here’s our conclusion from SMRT’s response to Friday’s reports:

1. Is Nathan resigning? We have no idea.

2. Is Kuek stepping down? Maybe not just yet.

Let’s hope that this statement is unlike those dreaded “vote of confidence” given to football managers before they eventually leave their jobs.

More on SMRT’s mind-boggling leadership changes. Or not:

Top photo via SMRT’s Facebook page

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