Temasek resumes CEO search

Differences over 'certain strategic issues that could not be resolved’ have caused former BHP Billiton chief Chip Goodyear and the sovereign fund to cancel plans for Goodyear to assume Temasek's CEO role.

Five months after Temasek disclosed that Charles Goodyear would later replace Ho Ching as its chief executive, the former BHP Billiton chief and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund have mutually decided to part ways given differences over 'certain strategic issues'.

Goodyear, who had retired as the chief executive of global mining major BHP Billiton in January 2008, joined Temasek's board in February and in March was named CEO-designate. He was to succeed Ho at the helm of operations on 1 October.

“It is with much regret that both Chip and the board have accepted that it is best not to proceed with the leadership transition,” S Dhanabalan, the chairman of Temasek, said in a statement. Ho has agreed to continue as the executive director and chief executive officer, Dhanabalan added.

Goodyear will also step down from the Temasek board on 15 August.

Temasek said that its board, including Ho, has been engaged in the issue of CEO succession since early 2005. This involves an annual review of external as well as as internal candidates over various time horizons, something Temasek will continue to practice, it added.

Temasek is an active private equity investor making direct investments as well as commitments to private equity funds. It is believed to have invested $1 billion in the China-focused Hopu Fund, which closed on $2.5 billion in 2008. Other regional fund managers backed by Temasek include MBK Partners and FountainVest.

The sovereign wealth fund managed assets of S$127 billion ($83 billion; €65 billion) of 30 November 2008, reflecting a decline of 31 percent in eight months.