SINGAPORE - Keppel Corporation chief financial officer Loh Chin Hua will take over as chief executive of the $19.7 billion conglomerate on Jan 1, the firm announced on Thursday.
Mr Loh, 52, who has been with Keppel for nearly 11 years, will replace outgoing CEO Choo Chiau Beng, 65.
Before becoming chief financial officer in January last year, Mr Loh, 52, was managing director of Keppel Land's real estate fund management arm Alpha Investment Partners.
The changes were announced during Keppel's second-quarter results briefing at the Hotel Inter- Continental.
Mr Loh was asked at the briefing if Keppel might focus more on property next year when he takes the reins.
He said: "If you know us well enough... you'll find that when it comes to property projects, I ask the toughest questions in the room. We'll have to look at the opportunities presented to us and continue to make the right decisions in terms of where to allocate our capital to earn the best risk-adjusted returns."
There are also changes at the top at the group's offshore division. Keppel Offshore & Marine CEO Tong Chong Heong, 66, will be succeeded by the unit's chief operating officer Chow Yew Yuen, 58, on Feb 1.
These changes are part of its "holistic succession plan in charting its next lap of growth", Keppel Corp said in a statement on Thursday.
Chairman Lee Boon Yang said the board had worked over several years with Mr Choo and his senior management team on succession planning.
"Keppel is 45 this year. Chiau Beng and Chong Heong have contributed towards Keppel's growth for 42 years and 43 years respectively," Dr Lee noted.