Bakke Salleh appointed Sime Darby Group CEO?

Felda CEO Dato' Mohd. Bakke Salleh is being tipped as the new Sime darby Group CEO

Plantations based conglomerate Sime Darby Group Chairman Tun Musa Hitam is expected to call for a media conference this evening, to announce the new Group CEO since the untimely but premature ‘ departure’ of Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zubir Mursyid just exactly a month ago  in a huge controversy and probably scandal for the largest palm oil planter in the world.

Unconfirmed reports state that Felda Holdings Group CEO Dato’ Mohd. Bakke Salleh is being given the honour.

Dato' Azhar, flanked by Tun Musa Hitam and PM Dato' Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak at the announcement of the mapping of the palm oil genome

Presently, since the premature ejection of Zubir, Group Plantations Managing Director Dato’ Azhar Abdul Hamid has been appointed as the acting Group CEO. Not much could be said about Bakke taking over a conglomerate which in a very short time would be land owners and developers of 1 million hectares of palm oil (400, 000 hectares of ‘brownfield’ and 600,000 hectares of ‘greenfield’), being the largest producer of palm oil crude in the world. However, Azhar has plans for the Group. A master of producing palm oil in market conditions without having the luxury of direct Government subsidy, Azhar’s plantations division contributes 70% of the Group turnover and income. His mid term plan is to drive the whole Group to deliver 100% growth within five years.

“In many businesses, ideas and innovation fail to grow and because lack of capital and resources. Here (in Sime Darby), we have it all”, in his idea of promoting intrapreneurism amongst the executives as a drive for better results. Obviously, he intended to harness everyone’s competencies and creativity.

Former accountant turned  Islamic banker Bakke was previously in Tabung Haji, another large palm oil plantation group after Sime Darby and Felda. It was said that Tabung Haji’s cost of operations are not desirable against market forces and both Felda and Tabung Haji have the luxury being GLCs, unlike Sime Darby which is totally market driven corporation. Bakke would probably take a whole year just to learn names and their competencies in a conglomerate that employs 100,000 people and in tough times like this, probably its not the best opportunity to ‘Change horse mid-stream’.

What is worrying is that Bakke is one of those executives hand picked and nurtured by Minister-in-charge of EPU and former Second Finance Minister (at the times of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s counter productive growth of socio, economics and politics bleak interregnum period) Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. It doubt that Sime Darby as a Group is able to afford further scandals and ventures that would bring temporary glitch to the Malay controlled corporate scene, such as Khazanah Holdings. This is over 8 million Malay and Bumiputera unit trust holders depend on Sime Darby’s profitability and most of all, ability to fork out cash and pay out dividends.

It is thought that Chairman Tun Musa Hitam ‘pushed’ for the appointment of Bakke, even though the BOD gave the interim confidence to Azhar and less than two weeks later, agreed to accept the ‘Troika’ management representation and chain of information to the BOD. For someone who reiterated his position of being a ‘Non Executive’ many times over, this appointment demonstrate otherwise. He should consider using his ‘Executive Decision’ clout to uplift the moral within Sime Darby Group, especially allowing the new ‘Troika’ form of reporting prove itself first and most of all, some members of the BODs who are veterans of the Bakun dam, Qatar Project and Maersk Oil Qatar projects to go first.

*Updated 1525hrs

Tun Musa made the announcement this evening at Sime Darby Convention Centre:

Jun 14, 2010

Sime Darby names new CEO

KUALA LUMPUR – MALAYSIAN state-controlled conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad on Monday named Mohamad Bakke Salleh, a top official at plantation giant Felda Group, as its new president and chief executive.

The appointment comes after Sime Darby in May posted its first quarterly loss due to massive losses from its energy division.

The conglomerate recorded a loss of 308.6 million ringgit (S$131.74 million) in the three months to March 31 compared with a net profit of 150.6 million ringgit in the same period last year.

Yeh Kim Leng, chief economist with RAM Holdings, told AFP the number one task for the new chief was ‘to extricate the company from the current mess’.

‘Mohamad Bakke has to pull the company out of the mess and refocus on its core strength which is in the palm oil plantations and its downstream processing business.’ The 56-year-old Mohamad Bakke is currently group president and chief executive of Felda Global Ventures Holdings, the commercial arm of Felda Group.

The conglomerate last month had asked group CEO Ahmad Zubir Murshid to take a leave of absence before his contract expires in November after an internal investigation uncovered cost overruns in the energy and utilities division. Anti-corruption authorities had said they would investigate possible graft at the firm, Malaysia’s number two company by market value. — AFP

*************

and

2010-06-14 18:27

Sime Darby gets new president

KUALA LUMPUR, Monday 14 June 2010 (Bernama) — Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh has been appointed as the new President & Group Chief Executive (PGCE) of Sime Darby.

The appointment is to take effect as soon as practicable, Sime Darby said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today.

Sime Darby said Mohd Bakke, 56, was chosen in view of his expertise and experience.

Mohd Bakke, who is the Group President/Chief Executive Officer of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd (Felda Global), has a proven track record in managing large corporations, corporate restructuring exercises and management expertise in the plantation and property industries, it said.

He is also highly regarded in the corporate sector.

Prior to his appointment at Felda Global, Mohd Bakke served in various capacities within Government Linked Companies and Government Linked Investment Companies.

He has served as the Group Managing Director of Felda Holdings Bhd, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of Lembaga Tabung Haji and also as the Director of the Property Division of Pengurusan Danaharta Bhd.

Sime Darby said it will make the necessary announcement when the appointment of Mohd Bakke is effected.

**************

*Updated 1930hrs

More analysis and commentaries to Bakke’s irregular ‘announcement to the Group CEO’s post but without specifics’. 24 hours from this original posting.

*Updated Tuesday 15 June 1300hrs

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Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 12:46  Comments (21)  

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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ya rabbi….what going to happen with Malaysian governments. Dato’ Mohd Bakke Salleh not a sweet name in Oil Palm Industries. A lot of questions which arise during he lead Tabung Haji. Likewise in FELDA. You can ask FELDA person what happen to Palm Oil Mill constructed by CBIP.

    Datuk Azhar was more capable and a person having clear direction in every angle. Why have not been given opportunity to him. DS Najib should do something. Do not too follow his wife desire.

    • Pencapaian No 1 Bakkee.

      Semasa Bakkee menjadi CEO Tabung Haji atas sokongan NMY, banyak suara2 sumbang kedengaran. Pada masa yang sama budak2 tingkat 4 mensyorkan kerajaan malaysia menjual saham2 untuk meningkatkan pencairan (liquidity). Maka itu, saham2 Celcom, Telekom, Tenaga, dll, telah dijual secara berperingkat kepada pelabur2 institusi tempatan dan antarabangsa. Broker yang membuat transaksi penjualan saham2 kerajaan malaysia ialah ECM (semasa itu cuma ada 3 pekerja sahaja iaitu Kalimullah, David Chua dan Lim Kian Onn). Terimakasih kerana “kerjasama” sepenuhnya dari Bakke untuk “meningkatkan pencairan” saham2 GLCs, Tabung Haji telah membelanjakan beratus2 juta duit pendeposit2nya untuk membeli saham2 tersebut. Dengan duit komisyin yang banyak dari ihsan Tabung Haji, Kalimullah dan rakan2 cina beliau berjaya membeli BBMB Securities dari MoF pada tahun yang sama. Maka tertubuhlah ECM Libra.

      Pencapaian No 2 Bakkee

      Sebelum Bakkee meninggalkan Tabung Haji untuk “berkhidmat” di FELDA, dia telah mengesyorkan and membuat sokongan untuk Ismee Ismail mengambil alih jawatan CEO Tabung Haji. Pada ketika itu Ismee Ismail ialah CEO ECM Libra Securities. Satu Malaya tahu Ismee Ismail adalah ketua penyamun yang bekerja hanya untuk satu tujuan iaitu menambahkan kekayaan diri sendiri. Satu dunia tahu Ismee Ismail hanyalah kuli batak Kalimullah yang tamak dan pentingkan kemewahan. Lihat sahaja pencapaian Tabung Haji sejak Ismee Ismail mengambil alih jawatan CEO Tabung Haji. Kadar dividen untuk tahun 2009 adalah lebih rendah dari KWSP! Pada masa yang sama, Ismee Ismail sibuk membeli kereta baru Mercedes S300 (XXX19) bewarna kelabu berharga hampir RM1 juta (termasuk aksesori tambahan). Lihat sahaja pejabat Ismee Ismail yang begitu mewah dengan dekorasi hotel 6 bintang. Suara2 sumbang telah lama kedengaran bahawa Ismee dan orang kanannya Adi Azuan (Pengurus Besar Akaun) begitu rakus membuat kekayaan untuk diri sendiri tanpa mempeduli amanah2 pendeposit Tabung Haji yang kebanyakkannya terdiri2 dari orang2 kampung, petani2, pekerja2 kerajaan, dll, yang kebanyakkannya berpendapatan rendah. Cuba pergi ke bilik Adi Azuan di Tabung Haji Jalan Tun Razak, anda akan terperanjat dengan 2 TV flat screen berserta sound system dan dekor hotel 6 bintang. Telah banyak surat layang diutuskan kepada pihak menteri, lembaga pengarah dan BPR, akan tetapi sehingga hari ini, tidak ada tindakan yang diambil.

      Sampai bila kita akan terus menutup mata dan membisu, adakah apabila “Bakkee” (Baki) Tabung Haji tinggal kosong baru Malaysia akan bersuara?

      Bak kata Ustaz di Astro Awani, cuba renung dan fikir2kan.

      • Tabung Uji,

        i totally agree with you. Many people have been sok-sek-sok-sek-ing about Tabung Haji’s current sad state, ie too many undertable deals, the CEO is asking for “toll collection” openly for Tabung Haji’s projects, lavish spending on office’s decoration, etc, etc. We need someone to quckly start doing the investigation on the CEO and his cronies.

  2. Sejak zaman Anak & Pak Menantu, rata-rata syarikat besar-besar GLC akan lantik yang berkelulusan akaun sebagai CEO. Tak kiralah syarikat jual minyak dab ke, jual orang ke..syarikat kejuruteraan mcm TNB ke, Telekom ke. Trend ini nampaknya continue sampai sekarang.

    Bukan apa, orang kira untung atas kertas ni macam2 boleh buat. Projected untung 10 tahun akan datang boleh dimanipulasikan supaya untung tu tertera tahun ini. Kerugian tahun ini boleh disilapmata supaya hanya keluar 10 tahun akan datang. Macam-macamlah songlap matanya.

    Tengok saja TNB – dulu tak de la announce untung berdegar-degar semasa diterajui oleh jurutera atau teknocrat. Tapi rata-rata rakyat TNB gembira kerja. Bila org akaun jadikan CEO (org politik tak usah citerla), untuk pecah rekod senantiasa. Tapi rakyat TNB nampaknya lebih merana sebab TNB sudah jadi kedekut nak mampos berbanding dengan dulu katanya.

    Entahlah, kalau syarikat syarikat plantation, CEO nya patutlah kalangan yang terer plantation, bukan terer kira duit atas kertas. Macam TNB/Telekom, CEOnya patutlah dari kalangan jurutera. Tapi Sime Darby ka, TNb ka, Telekom ka.. CEOnya org -org yang kira duit atas kertas. Tak nampak pun syarikat-syarikat ni gah. Nak makin lingkup tu, hmmm.. tak tahulah. Kini depa nak pelangkungkan Petronas pulak ka?

    Kita tak mahulah report tahunan cakap untung berdegar-degar, tapi realitinya..? Org yg dlm syarikat itu sendiri lebih tahu agaknya.

  3. Here (in Sime Darby), we have it all- azhar.
    yep. you have it all.
    cronies, back-stabbing, gossip, musang , true mark of malay conglomerate. etc.
    yep, you have it all!

  4. orang akaun… apa dia reti…

  5. I cant help but to comment on your flawed arguments as to why he is not the suitable candidate for the position. Its probably about time that you did some research before writing and article or also to those who commented just for the sake of commenting and having an “opinion” to actually back up your arguments with some evidence.

    The question to ask is what are you basing your argument on? In relation to this, Mr Kulip Ludin said “A lot of questions which arise during he lead Tabung Haji. Likewise in FELDA. You can ask FELDA person what happen to Palm Oil Mill constructed by CBIP. ” These are clearly assumptions and hearsay which if you study law are not credible evidence. I suggest you look at their company reports through out the years and look at the profit figures. And if you are one smart person (tough luck), im pretty sure you are able to find some solid evidence to discredit your assumption up there :)

    Also, to the person who commented in Malay, my oh my, a clear example on why we can never change the “melayu mentality”. Even before anything, ie before letting this guy step in and actually do some restructuring to the company, you have already discredit him by saying all these things which are clearly not relevant and certainly equates to a 15 year old kid’s view. Dont even let me start on the comment on “CEO terer plantation” My goodness, do you even know what you’re talking about?

    I rest my case.

    • You state that profit which making by FELDA throughout the period it staying under Datuk Bakke hand so spectacular, for your info, last 3-4 year, all plantation companies making great profit in fact bonus received by their staff are among the highest between 7 – 10 month. You know why? Not because they are great, but due to oil palm price played above RM2,000, a price that is so comfortable.

      You could be asking, why Datuk Tahir instructed to leave FELDA. For your further info, Datuk Tahir managed to change mentality among FELDA managers because we already know that FELDA formerly a government agency and most of their employees as other government servant. Datuk Tahir firmness indeed noted since he with Austral. But why he was instructed to go? Did he has become the scapegoat?

      One more thing, if someone doing something wrong by leaving evidence, may be something that does not right with his brain. Only stupid person do a malevolence by leaving evidence. We could create various excuses to allow our fraud.

      • I was trying my level best to understand what you’re actually trying to say as your arguments are pretty jumbled up! and the next thing i know, Datuk Tahir’s in the picture. How is that even relevant? What are you trying to imply here?

        Anyway, i shouldnt be wasting my time having an argument with someone who is clearly not in the position to be talking about FELDA or discussing whether Bakke is a suitable candidate. I mean you cant be stating facts without having evidence to back it up. They even teach this in high school! To always back up arguments :-)

        Fair enough if you have anything against Bakke personal reasons or policy reasons or whatever it may be, but its rather inappropriate for you to be accusing someone supposedly not suitable enough for the job simply based on personal reasons.

        It’ll be quite exciting if you can bring sources in and show if this guy has done damage to Tabung Haji or FELDA. No offence, have you not been reading papers lately? I mean they talk about FELDA join ventures, FELDA Global and recently, FELDA acquiring Malayan Sugar Mnfg. So instead of just being a disgruntled malaysian who throws accusations as and when, i suggest you do some research first and construe your arguments well. It would definitely be an interesting topic to debate on if the opposition has substantial and concrete views rather than “i have an opinion, i am just going to voice out”

      • Hey Liyana fellow,

        You are lecturing people to “back up your arguments with some evidence”. Where is YOUR evidence, man. Or woman.

        I haven’t seen any bit of evidence of Bakke’s capability from your several paragraphs here and there. Do as you say, not as others say, ha?

        If you know so much about “company reports”, say them out here la. Don’t just yek yek yek like an old woman. Give the evidence.

        Me? I’m just here for the beer.

      • Hi Zen,

        Glad to know that you’re here for some beer. In that case, hope you’re having some sorta fun reading the comments :-)

        Anyway, why should i provide evidence first when i was not even the one who simply throw accusations and initiate the debate. I just think its rather pathetic those who simply accuse people or ramble about things without justifying themselves. Especially when the nominated person hasnt got the chance to reconstruct the company, yet people talk about him not being the right guy for the job. Come on!

        Oh well, whats new, a bunch of msians who are unhappy bt the government and get together to just criticize every single thing the govt does.

        Then again, if you’re here for some beer, feel free to have fun replying to this..

  6. ape salahnye “orang akaun” jadi CEO klau die boleh buat kerjanya dan berkaliber tinggi?

    ish, mesti ada jugak orang yang perlu mengkritik secara membuta tuli tanpa sebarang substance.

    Nama dia BAKKE btw.

  7. Sime Darby dan GLC mesti dijaga dengan penuh tanggungjawab.

    Contohnya, Sime Darby (plantation)memang ‘its core business’. Sime Darby (Property) sangat penting kepada proses ‘memperbandarkan Melayu/Bumiputera/Islam) dengan projek-projek hartanahnya. Jangan lupa konsep asal ‘untuk membina hartanah yang mampu dimiliki oleh Melayu/Bumiputera/Islam’ dalam projek-projek baru. Ini sangat penting kepada survival Melayu di bandar-bandar baru.

    GLC berperanan besar dalam proses pembangunan sosio-ekonomi rakyat dan mesti menyokong inspirasi kerajaan.

    Kemewahan gila pejabat, kereta, pelancongan dan sebagainya yang diberi kepada CEO dan yang terpilih dalam GLC. Jangan sampai lupa daratan.

    Saya teringat pejabat arwah YABhg. Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali, bekas Governor Bank Negara dan Pengerusi PNB yang begitu ‘simple yet practical’. Kereta beliau dengan PNB diguna sehingga beliau meninggal dunia.

  8. I am of the opinion that a company is more appropriately led (CEO) by a person who has the qualification and experience in the field of company’s core business i.e. an engineer leads an engineering company, an accountant leads an accounting company etc.

    But when many of the companies today appoint an accountant/financial as CEO, irrespective of the company’s core business, does it mean that money dictates nowadays?

    Of course, I think, an engineer is incapable of doing “financial engneering” to put a fanstastic “make-up” of an actually ailing company. To him, if a machine broke down, a machine is broke and need to be repaired to continue the business. No “make up” can be made to hide the fact. Remember Enron?

    There was once a much needed utility project, deliberated in a boardroom. The CEO was a technocrat. His financial man objected to the project citing that they dont have enough fund. The CEO responded, “Situation will become critical in next X-years if this project does not take off now. If the fund is not enough, then you go and find the fund. That is what you are hired for.”

    Maybe time have changed. Maybe it is all about MONEY nowadays.

  9. [...] June 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm Bakke Salleh appointed Sime Darby Group CEO? « The “thirteen million plus Ringgit”… [...]

  10. Azhar for CEO? Siapa tahu pencapaian beliau semasa di-Sime Engineering dulu? Tahu tak mereka yang di Utility/ Engineering division yang menghadapi masaalah sekarang ini adalah rata2 kawan2 beliau dan pernah bekerja bersama2 beliau dulu? Tahu tak kenapa beliau tak lama di Tradewinds?
    Sebenarnya kita tak perlu chartered accountant untuk menerajui syarikat perladangan. Operation man / technocrat is the best person to run the show. Finance man biar depa jaga account.Jadi CFO. Apa yang syarikat perladangan perlu ialah technocrat man dan di pantau oleh satu badan atau exco yg ahli nya terdiri dari lembaga syarikat dan juga senior management staff. Cadangan jer. Hang pikiaq la.

  11. [...] Meet the new group chief executive Bakke Salleh, read it here. A lot of people are disappointed the job’s not going to Azhar. [...]

  12. I would just like to make this comment. This is one of thousands of blogs with ‘news’ from people with little information but claim to know it all. And most of your comments are by those who appears to be judgemental, opiniated and brainless.

  13. [...] few things learnt from this episode. Make the executives pay for their sins, look for talents from outside because of an ego and allow the ‘Statesman’ to remain, especially after he was said to [...]

  14. [...] BOD’s authority to issue the said grant to the only two employees nominated. The first one is President and Group CEO Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Mohd. Salleh, for the maximum amount of 3,000,000 shares in this grant scheme. The other is Nur Tania Yusof for [...]


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