Lim Kim San to step down as SPH senior advisor - Oct 19, 2005 (ST)

BackOct 19, 2005

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

Lim Kim San to step down as SPH senior advisor

Oct 19, 2005
The Straits Times

THE senior advisor to Singapore Press Holdings, Mr Lim Kim San, will be stepping down at the end of the year.

In a statement released yesterday, the media group thanked him for his 17 years of leadership and advice - 14 years as executive chairman and three as senior advisor.

CRUCIAL ROLE: Mr Lim's guidance during some of SPH's key decisions was invaluable.

SPH chairman Lim Chin Beng said: 'Mr Lim is held in the highest regard by the board, and it is with much regret that we accept his decision to retire.

'On behalf of the SPH board, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for his invaluable advice and leadership through the years and wish him many good years of happy retirement.'

Mr Lim, who turns 89 this year, had expressed his desire to retire in December.

He stepped down as executive chairman in 2002, but stayed on as senior advisor at the board's request.

He said: 'I wanted to retire as far back as 2001, but after so many years with the company, I could not simply walk away when asked to help SPH contend with the fast- and ever-changing landscape in the political, social and technological world.'

SPH chief executive Alan Chan said Mr Lim had played a 'crucial role in driving and shaping the group into the successful multimedia company that it is today'.

Since the former Cabinet minister assumed his post at SPH in 1988, the group has grown into one of the region's leading media companies, with annual revenue hitting the $1 billion mark this year and a market capitalisation of about $7.2 billion.

Said Mr Chan: 'Whenever the board was faced with a difficult decision, we could always count on him to provide the right counsel and advice.'

The company benefited from his vast experience. Before joining SPH, he served as a minister for 18 years, holding various portfolios, including education, finance, interior and defence, and national development.

He also served as chairman of the Port of Singapore Authority and was chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers until January last year.

Mr Chan said, what was especially appreciated, was Mr Lim's guidance on some of SPH's key decisions, including a five-for-one share split, the merger of the TV and free newspaper operations, and the decision to divest from non-core areas.

Mr Lim described his time with SPH as 'most satisfying'.

'I am privileged to have had the opportunity to do what I have done with the company, and to have worked with so many talented people through thick and thin.'

'With the advent of the new media, the future of newspaper publishing looks tough.

'But we now have a strong corps of new directors and senior executives in place to take on this challenge.'

This will be further strengthened, he said, when former deputy prime minister Tony Tan takes over as chairman on Dec 2.

Mr Lim said: 'Such self-renewal is vital to the success of the company. I am confident the ship will remain in good hands.'