Phoenix Rising? Azhar (Azhar who?) aims to double Sime Darby's turnover and net income in 5 years. That's not ambitious, that's VERY ambitious. But as the acting Group Chief Exec said in an exclusive chat with a couple of business-savvy bloggers after the Press conference to announce SD's 9-month losses yesterday, “Why not? We have to aim to achieve”.
Read the conversation, h e r e.
Zubir's Letter of Indemnity. In 1999, Ismail Zakariah became the first CEO of a bank charged in court for breaching the banking laws here. He was from Sime Bank. The previous year, Sime Darby had reported losses of RM1.81 billion, the first time it was in the red, as a result of the Sime Bank fiasco.
Today, a much bigger Sime Darby is expected to announce a burning hole in its financial results, the result of losses in Qatar Petroleum and Bakun (and Ramunia?*). The company's Group Chief Executive has been on "leave of absence" since the Board chaired by Musa Hitam, the former deputy prime minster, had discovered the gaping hole. In January, a top executive of the company's energy division was told to go after signs of massive cost overruns in the Qatar project became visible.
Interestingly, the Group Chief Exec, it now appears, had signed a letter or indemnity that, in effect, waived all rights of Sime Darby to take the former energy division executive to court.
And this blessed individual from the energy division was not told to go in the way you and I understand the phrase to mean. The Group Chief Executive who is now on leave of absence had given him quite a nice parting gift the works out to about half a million ringgit, and this has enabled the former energy division chief to take to the KL nite life with a vengeance.
* Sime Darby's questionable purchase of Ramunia Bhd's yard in Teluk Ramunia is set to become a new saga in the current debacle. Last year Sime offered to take over Ramunia, lock stock and barrel, for RM232 million, but by April this year it ended up buying just the yard assets for RM530 million. Ramunia a PN 17 status company, suffered a combined net loss of RM330 million over the last two years.