Li from China to be new Proton CEO? (Updated)

PETALING JAYA: National carmaker Proton has remained silent over the growing speculation that former Dongfeng Honda Engine Co deputy general manager Li Chunrong (pix) will be taking over as CEO.

When contacted by theSun, Proton said it had no comment on the speculation that has been going around in the automobile industry on the appointment of a new CEO.

Li has joined Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely) to oversee operations in Proton, according to Automotive News, a China auto portal.

A China Press report, quoting the Xinhua state news agency, also said Li left Dongfeng Honda and joined Geely on Aug 22. Berita Harian carried a similar report on Sunday.

However, neither Geely, which owns 49.9% of Proton equity, nor Proton confirmed the news of Li's appointment as Proton CEO.

International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had said the government would have no issue if Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd and DRB-Hicom Bhd appoint a non-Malaysian as chairman of Proton Holdings Bhd at the international level.

Proton should pick talent regardless of nationality in order to be progressive especially when it comes to choosing a leader, he was reported as saying.

"We have to be open and invest in talent. If we are too confined in whether they are foreigners or not, we will not be progressing," Mustapa said.