May 20, 2020

Ford’s China operations to function as standalone business unit

Alibaba
AI
Manufacturing
Ford
2 min
Ford’s China operations to function as standalone business unit
US car manufacturer Ford announced on 23 October that it is reorganizing its operations in the Asia Pacific region, creating a standalone Chinese business unit
 
The move comes as part of Ford’s strategy to reinstate profitable growth in China, which represents the world’s largest vehicle market.
 
“China is absolutely essential to Ford’s profitability and growth,” said Jim Farley, president of global markets at Ford, in the company’s press release.
 
“As we transition China to a stand-alone business unit, led by an experienced and talented Chinese business leader, we are able to become more fit as a business, increase our decision-making speed and be closer to our customers.”
 
Ford China will be headed by Anning Chen as president and CEO, a highly experience executive with a history of success in China.
 
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Chen has over 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry, and is returning to Ford after having served as Chery Automobile’s CEO and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Chery Jaguar Land Rover, Automotive, China.
 
Peter Fleet, president of Ford Asia Pacific, said:
 
“As we continue to reposition our China business for future growth with new products, partnerships and people, it has become increasingly clear that the brightest future for Ford would be unlocked by making Ford China a dedicated business unit reporting directly to Ford global headquarters.”
 
Fleet will assist Chen with the transition, and will be tasked with establishing Ford’s new International Markets business unit.
 
Ford noted in its press release that is has formed strategic partnerships with Chinese tech firms Alibaba and Baidu to facilitate research and development of AI and connectivity.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

hoching
legend
singapore
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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