Tan Sri Sabri Ahmad's contract as the Group CEO of FGV ends officially at midnight tonight but for all intents and purposes, it came to an abrupt and premature end in January 2013, just months after its world-class listing, when someone announced the appointment of a CEO-designate by the Middle Eastern-sounding name of Emir Mavani.
We still don't know who wanted Sabry out in such haste - Isa Samad the chairman, Najib Razak the Prime Minister, or some unseen hands pulling strings from behind both men - but the Emir emerged from virtually nowhere (ie Pemandu) to become the CEO-in-waiting of the world's third largest plantation giant.
It hasn't exactly been a harvest yet for Emir, though, and things are threatenening to get worse before they get any better. If they get better at all, that is. The blogger Big Dog, long a defender of the largely Malay-Muslim Felda settlers, has been leading the charge on an Emir-picking mission ever since the very shocking announcement of Sabri's forced departure, culminating in the story about how Mr Emir purportedly brought Mrs Emir to recent top-level FGV meetings. Clearly, Mavani is not the most popular outsider in FGV, where at least two generations of settlers reckon it's time a Group CEO is chosen from among them.
Now a strong rumor has it that the powers that be are listening to the settlers. Tomorrow, I was told, Emir may not clock in as CEO after all and that a genuine Anak Felda (son of Felda), who is currently one of the top executives of the company, will be named as Sabri's replacement.
Wallahualam bisawab. It could be wishful thinking in this holy month of Ramadan, we'll see in a few hours time.
In the meantime, here's wishing that Sabri gets well soon to pass the baton to the new FGV boss. And, oh yes, thanks for the RM16 million payout!