Zakaria to resume duties as FGV president/CEO on Oct 16

KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd (FGV) will see Datuk Zakaria Arshad resuming his duties as group president/CEO next Monday (Oct 16) after being on leave of absence for over four months since June 6, 2017.

The FGV board said a domestic inquiry (DI) has been carried out with proper internal processes consistent with The Minister of Finance (Incorporated)’s (MoF Inc) requirement of integrity, spirit of impartiality and ensuring proper corporate governance.

The findings of the DI were submitted to MoF Inc in line with Article 80 of FGV’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and MoF Inc had taken time to review them before making its decision.

“After taking into consideration the ongoing FGV transformation programme and the group president/CEO’s commitment and assurance to resolve the long-outstanding debt of Safitex Trading LLC, MoF Inc would like Zakaria to return as FGV group president/CEO,” the group said in a statement on Monday.

In response to the latest development, Zakaria said he is grateful for the decision made by MoF Inc as the special shareholder of FGV in retaining him as president and CEO.

“I am committed to continue the 2020 Strategic Plan (SP20) to revive the performance of the FGV Group in line with the goals of FGV chairman, Azhar. I would like to also express my gratitude to the FGV board of directors and all those who supported me during this episode and I consider it a test from God to further strengthen my spirit to continue serving FGV for the benefit of shareholders and stakeholders,” he said.

To recap, Zakaria, FGV group CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd senior general manager Kamarzaman Abd Karim and FGV Trading Sdn Bhd CEO Ahmad Salman Omar were issued with letters for leave of absence in early June following an internal audit investigation whereby alleged discrepancies were found in dealings between Delima Oil Products and Safitex Trading LLC.

A domestic inquiry on the issue began on July 18.

On July 20, FGV COO Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz was designated as officer-in-charge to take over Zakaria’s duties. With Zakaria resuming his position, Khairil will resume his post as COO.

Tifli resumed his duties last week after being suspended for almost four months. Kamarzaman and Salman are believed to have returned to work a week before Tifli.
On Sept 8, former Malakoff Corp Bhd group managing director Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid was appointed chairman of FGV.

Azhar on Monday reiterated his commitment to turn around and bring the company to greater heights.

“My immediate priorities are to improve operational and financial performance of our core business and ensure sustainable growth going forward. Being one of the biggest palm oil plantation companies, FGV must aspire to be the industry leader in terms of productivity and financial returns, so any factors hindering us from achieving these objectives must be addressed immediately,” he said.

Azhar said there is a need for a new management structure to strengthen the organisation. The board composition will be enhanced with the appointment of plantation experts, which will be announced later.