Year of the revolving door in the CEO's office

Year of the revolving door in the CEO's office

SINGAPORE - The revolving doors to the chief executive suites have spun fast this year with more than 40 bosses handing over the reins at listed firms.

That also means more than 40 new head honchos, so spare them a thought, what with the debt crisis in Europe, a patchy recovery in the United States and a winding down of China's exuberant growth to deal with.

Crystal-ball gazers expect similar challenges next year, although predictions by more optimistic pundits are on the rise as the curtain comes down on a volatile year.

China's economy is likely to face a gradual softening instead of the hard landing many had expected, while some key indicators, including housing, suggest a more promising recovery in the US.

And European policymakers have taken measures to tackle the debt crisis that appear to have eased concerns of a European Union meltdown.

Yet few forecasters dare to call it "all clear" for 2013.

In short, the newly installed bosses will need to prove their corporate prowess.

The biggest changing of the guard came at developer CapitaLand, when long-serving chief Liew Mun Leong said he will step down.

Few batted an eyelid when his successor, Mr Lim Ming Yan, an obvious choice, was named four months later to take over the reins on Jan 1.

There was some infusion of military blood in the corporate sector too. Mr Desmond Kuek, formerly defence force chief, assumed the hot seat at SMRT in October.

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