PM comments on Danish CEO’s departure

The recent sudden departure of Flemming Jacobs, a 59-year-old Dane who headed Singapore’s state-linked shipping company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), has sparked a comment from Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
     “I am unhappy (with the news) because it creates an impression that Singapore doesn’t welcome foreign talent, but that impression must be removed,” the 61-year-old leader said.
     Flemming Jacobs’ contract was not up for renewal until the middle of next year and a Danish newspaper had quoted him for explaining that NOL’s weak performance had to do with his departure from the company.
     “One after another, you find that the GLCs (government-linked companies) have retired prematurely their CEOs,” Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was quoted as saying in the Straits Times.
     Importing foreign talent would remain a cornerstone of the government’s policy given the island’s small population base, he said.
     Other foreign CEOs who resigned last year included Philippe Paillart from DBS Holdings and Thomas Kloet from the Singapore Exchange.

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