May 20, 2020

Airbus China names new CEO and Chairman

2 min
Airbus China names new CEO and Chairman

In a leadership rejig, Airbus China has named George Xu as its new CEO.

Xu was previously Chairman of the Board for Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line, and between 2011-2014 was Vice President of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Administrative Committee.

The company also announced Eric Chen as Airbus China’s new Chairman. Chen was previously President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft China, and replaces Laurence Barron.

See also:

Business Chief – Asia Edition – January issue out now!

China Aircraft Leasing to buy a total of 15 Airbus A320s, valued at $7.5bn

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According to Airbus, Chen was “one of the pioneers who worked for Airbus China” and “has witnessed the successful development if Airbus’ business in this country”.

The announcement came on Wednesday as part of a wider leadership appointment.

Airbus China has been a key focus for French Prime Minister Macron’s China visit, as Airbus hopes to finalise a major Chinese contract in the near future, as the Chinese aviation market continues to grow.

Macron has states that a contract with China for 182 Airbus A320 narrow-body jets will soon be finalised, and that the company als hopes to sell A350 and A380 planes to China in the coming months.

Airbus is based in France, with its parent organisation Airbus Group, and reported a 2016 revenue of over $80bn.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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