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Keppel expands M1 CEO’s role amid talks of StarHub merger

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
Keppel expands M1 CEO’s role amid talks of StarHub merger
Manjot Singh Mann, who has been CEO of M1 since 2018, will be appointed Keppel’s CEO of connectivity with effect from June 1. Photo: Keppel
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Keppel Limited will appoint Thomas Pang senior managing director in the CEO’s office on June 1. Pang will relinquish his position as Keppel’s CEO of its data centres and networks business.

Pang has served in various leadership roles in Keppel for more than two decades, says Keppel on May 17. He was previously CEO of Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management and CEO of Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation. 

Manjot Singh Mann, 58, who is currently CEO of M1 and chief digital officer of Keppel, will be appointed Keppel’s CEO of connectivity with effect from June 1. 

Mann will oversee M1 as well as Keppel’s data centres and networks business and drive the growth of the connectivity division. 

See also: StarHub and M1 potential merger said to be back on

Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel, says the new appointments are an extension of the group’s Vision 2030 transformation, “to grow as a global asset manager and operator, and simplify and streamline our organisational structure”. 

“Thomas has effectively led our data centres and networks business for the past 10 years. With his rich experience in both asset management and operations, Thomas is well-positioned to drive global partnerships and grow the market for Keppel’s fund management and investment solutions,” says Loh in a statement. 

Mann, who has been CEO of M1 since 2018, has accelerated the telco operator’s growth and transformation as a digital connectivity solutions provider, says Loh. “As the CEO overseeing all aspects of our connectivity division, Mann will continue to lead M1, while also growing Keppel’s data centres and subsea cables business. He will focus on driving growth and harnessing greater synergies across our end-to-end digital infrastructure and connectivity offerings, and bolster Keppel’s value proposition to our customers and limited partners.” 

See also: Franklin Templeton appoints Gaurav Bathija as head of private banks and family offices

The leadership change comes as local telco operators StarHub and M1 are said to once again be exploring a potential merger of their businesses, according to TMT Finance, citing five sources familiar to the matter.

According to three sources, ST Telemedia-backed StarHub is working with a US bulge bracket bank to work on a potential merger, but it is unclear if M1 is working with a bank on this. 

A StarHub spokesperson commented on the matter: "StarHub is executing an ambitious multi-year organic transformation. In addition to this we continue to evaluate acquisitions to enhance shareholder value. If and when any definitive agreement or material event occurs relating to such opportunities, we will make disclosures in accordance with our listing obligations."

StarHub is 56.3% owned by various Temasek portfolios, including ST Telemedia and STT Communications, while M1 is also indirectly owned by Temasek, through Temasek’s 21.3% stake in Keppel.

Shares in Keppel closed 3 cents higher, or 0.5% up, at $6.77 on May 17, prior to the announcement.

Photos: Keppel 

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