Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
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.
Deloitte’s Abdi Goodarzi on the Future of the Enterprise
Deloitte Consulting’s Enterprise Performance leader will be the cover feature in the June issue of Business Chief. In this exclusive interview, Abdi Goodarzi, Deloitte Consulting’s Enterprise Performance (EP) Portfolio Leader, opens up about how his personal experiences drive his vision for EP.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Abdi will provide insights on what enterprise leaders should be contemplating as they prepare their organisations to become more Clean, Intelligent, Inclusive, and Responsive.
● Enterprise Performance – Why It Matters, Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis
● A Smarter World and the Rise of the Kinetic Enterprise™
● Ecosystems and the Importance of Innovation
● Evolution of the CXO, Driving Value Through Innovation
● Investing in People, Culture, and Diversity and Inclusion
● The Power of Teams and Authenticity in Leadership
Addressing the expansion of enterprise solutions, Abdi states: “We’ve gone from an age when it was important to have the right technology to an age where you can have all the technology you want”. During the interview, Abdi discusses EP’s Kinetic Enterprise™ framework that assists enterprises in aligning their technology planning to business objectives.
Abdi discusses the evolution of the enterprise CXO, stating, “[The CXO] mindset about what they were expecting out of their investments is changing – those expectations are increasing by significant multipliers. The only way that enterprises can reach these multipliers is by taking advantage of more innovation and technology, such as cloud and AI”.
On the significance of innovation, Abdi reiterates a bold perspective on the future of industry competitiveness: “It has to be part of any organisation’s strategy - otherwise, you will not see a rise and decline as the only direction”.
BizClik Senior Editor Paddy Smith said: “Abdi Goodarzi’s unique take on how people, business, technology, ecosystems, innovation, and unique perspectives must come together to create resilient, thriving companies of the future made for a fascinating interview. Enterprise technologists shouldn’t miss this opportunity to get unique insights into where ERP is going in the next decade and beyond”.