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Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling to exit her operational roles

Bloomberg • 2 min read
Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling to exit her operational roles
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Grab Holdings co-founder Tan Hooi Ling is stepping down from her operational roles by the end of the year, more than a decade after she helped start the Singapore-based ride-hailing and food delivery company.

Tan, 39, will also give up her seat on the board, though she will remain an adviser to the company, according to an internal memo sent to employees Thursday and seen by Bloomberg News. She currently leads Grab’s technology and corporate strategy teams, and previously served as operating chief until 2022.

Her exit leaves Chief Executive Officer Anthony Tan steering the company without his co-founder as it fights to reverse years of losses. Last week, its shares fell the most in more than a year after the company reported slowing spending by customers grappling with a higher rate of inflation and rising interest rates.

The two Tans, who aren’t related, founded Grab in 2012. Tan Hooi Ling then left briefly to work at other companies in the US before rejoining Grab in April 2015. She led various operations and technology teams, and also served as a member of Grab’s board since its stock-market debut in the US in December 2021.

In the memo to staff, CEO Tan said he wholeheartedly supports his co-founder’s decision to “pursue her personal passions at this time.” A succession plan has been in place for some time, the CEO said.

Grab is battling intensifying competition in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing and delivery markets, with the contenders luring customers with promotions and lower prices. Grab has been slower to reduce expenses than regional competitors — as Singapore’s Sea Ltd. and Indonesia’s GoTo Group eliminated thousands of jobs last year, Grab refrained from mass layoffs.

See also: Singtel-KKR a frontrunner to take a minority stake of US$1 bil in STT GDC, according to Reuters

The company has predicted it can reach breakeven on an adjusted basis in the last quarter of this year. While it reported a narrower quarterly loss last week, its customers are spending less on the platform than analysts expected. In the first quarter, its net loss narrowed to $244 million from $423 million a year earlier.

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