Wind down? Jennie Chua lining up next project

Wind down? Jennie Chua lining up next project

When Ms Jennie Chua resigned as non-executive director of Ascott Residence Trust last month, citing a desire "to pursue personal interests", one might have thought she was winding down on life in the corporate world.

After all, the veteran hotelier is 68 and a proud grandmother who cannot wait to catch her eight-year-old grandson perform at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York this week.

But Ms Chua is not slowing down, as The Straits Times found out in an e-mail interview.

"I don't like the word 'retired'," said Ms Chua, who remains a director at listed GuocoLeisure, a hotel and leisure group.

Last month, Ms Chua launched restaurant chain Jollibee in Singapore.

The fried chicken eatery, which originates from the Philippines, was involved in a minor flap after some netizens started a Facebook page calling for a consumer boycott due to what it claimed was the chain's clear preference for Filipino workers.

A retaliatory Facebook page was quickly set up by an opposing group called Fight Xenophobia, Eat Jollibee.

The boycott on Facebook was taken down shortly when diners ignored it and thronged Jollibee when it opened at Lucky Plaza last month.

In her e-mail, Ms Chua took the opportunity to set things straight.

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