In what must be a rather bizarre executive move, Keppel Corporation Limited claims that it is "beefing up its pool of senior management" by appointing BG (NS) Tay Lim Heng (郑林兴) as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director (Sustainable Development) of Keppel Integrated Enginering with effect from 15 June 2010.
Tay has absolutely no experience in the field of environmental engineering, KIE's core businesses, which include Waste-to-Energy engineering and Water/Wastewater engineering. Instead, Tay's experience has been in the army and the public sector where he held the administrative posts of Deputy Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of National Development (MND) and Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Rationalising the appointment, Mr Tong Chong Heong, Chairman of KIE, said, “Lim Heng brings, to Keppel, his skills in organisational leadership. We are confident that given his wide experience, he will help to capture value in KIE’s environmental engineering businesses.
“One of Lim Heng’s tasks is to synergise Keppel’s environmental engineering and property development competencies to cater for the growing urban and increasingly affluent population in this region and beyond.”
Mr Tong did not make clear how exactly Tay's skills in "organisational leadership" would "capture value" in the environmental engineering business. One would imagine that instead of increasing fixed overheads with the appointment of an "organisational leader", KIE should instead be focusing on technology leadership by investing in engineering capability.
Tay's appointment to KIE comes after the departure of Chua Chee Wui as CEO in late 2009 and the appointment of Michael Chia as CEO in place of Chua Chee Wui. Ex-Minister Lee Boon Yang was appointed as Chairman of Keppel Corp in July 2009 despite having no experience in offshore engineering, civil engineering, or environmental engineering.