Former chief executive of Land Transport Authority (LTA) Ngien Hoon Ping will take over as the new Group CEO of SMRT from Aug. 1, 2022.
In a media release on Mar. 18, the Board of Directors of SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) announced that Ngien will succeed current Group CEO, Neo Kian Hong, and join SMRT as a Board Director on May 1.
To facilitate a “smooth transition”, Neo will stay on as advisor to Ngien from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2022.
Ngien’s past experience
The 53-year-old has been the CEO of FairPrice Group’s Supply Chain Business since September 2020.
Prior to that, he served as the Chief Executive of the LTA for four years, from 2016 to 2020.
Before joining LTA, Ngien was a deputy secretary at the Ministry of Finance for three years.
Industry observers described it to be “challenging” for Ngien to helm LTA back in 2016 as the agency was expected to take on more responsibility with new frameworks implemented at that time, the Straits Times reported back then.
During his term as the CEO of LTA, Ngien “laid the foundation” for a significant improvement in rail reliability and safety, and led the delivery of infrastructure projects such as the Thomson-East Coast Line, Mandai Depot, and the new Lornie Highway, the SMRT media release highlighted.
Ngien had also been in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for 26 years, rising to the rank of Brigadier-General. He served as the director of Joint Operations from 2010 to 2013.
He will be the third consecutive ex-SAF general to head SMRT, after Neo and Desmond Kuek.
Part of SMRT’s leadership succession plan
Seah Moon Ming, the chairman of SMRT, shared that he is confident that the leadership succession will position SMRT well to capitalise on new growth and development opportunities. He said:
“The Board has put in place a leadership succession plan with robust talent pipeline at different levels. We review it regularly to ensure relevance and currency. We welcome Hoon Ping to the SMRT family .”
Seah noted that Ngien’s experience in the transport sector and his recent focus on digitalisation and process improvements at FairPrice would enable him to lead SMRT forward in “an era of disruption”.
“My fellow directors and I look forward to working with him to pursue operational & business excellence and grow SMRT sustainably.”
Seah also thanked the current Group CEO Neo for his “service and contributions” over the past four years.
“[Neo] oversaw a deepening of rail engineering capabilities and consistent delivery of high rail reliability. We have sustained Mean Kilometres Between Failures of more than one million train-km since 2019 and are continuing our journey of operational and service excellence. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
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Top images via PSD website and SMRT