SingPost continually reviews board's effectiveness, composition

We thank Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen for his feedback ("Don flags worries about SingPost"; last Wednesday). We take the issues raised in these commentaries and at our recent annual general meeting seriously, and we respect and value all our shareholders and stakeholders.

Singapore Post (SingPost) needs leaders for continuity to carry through sustained efforts, and appropriate talent and expertise for e-commerce logistics to grow and develop internationally. Our board composition and management structure support these growth objectives and trajectory.

Postal organisations the world over are facing a severe challenge, as letter volumes are declining because of e-substitution. Everything that SingPost has done in the past 12 years since its initial public offering is to survive this onslaught by continuing to fulfil both our national service obligation as the public postal licensee, and developing new revenue streams.

The board and management of SingPost have the challenging responsibility to ensure that the organisation outlives its original mandated purpose as a sole deliverer of mail, and retains its heritage and iconic Singapore brand. SingPost has needed to make several shifts in gear and accelerate its transformation over the years. This is especially so since postal liberalisation began in 2007.

Thanks to hard work and a committed team, which comprises experienced and talented long-serving staff in the postal service, fresh talent helming our e-commerce logistics business, and capable staff in our support units, SingPost today is on the journey to becoming a global leader in e-commerce logistics with exposure in key international markets.

This transformation journey started when SingPost went public in 2003, when the board saw the need to pivot out of the declining letter business into international e-commerce logistics.

In our accelerated transformation journey, we have made many strategic acquisitions and ventures in a short period of time. This places a huge demand on the time of the executive committee, comprising members with deep and multi-faceted experience, who have to review and evaluate these strategic transactions and make the appropriate recommendations to the board.

The diverse board comprises 12 members, of whom eight are independent. The long-serving board members bring invaluable legacy institutional knowledge of SingPost and its vital regulated business. SingPost continually reviews the independence, effectiveness and composition of the board on an annual basis and will continue to engage an external organisational advisory firm to conduct this assessment.

There will always be a need to facilitate smooth transitions. The board is already in the process of actively searching for the group chief executive officer. As part of the leadership transition plan, deputy chairman Goh Yeow Tin will be appointed an executive director for 12 months. Mr Goh, with his extensive operational and market experience, will oversee the group's post-merger integration activities, and the business and operations in Singapore; while Mr Mervyn Lim, deputy group chief executive officer (corporate services) and group chief financial officer, will cover the work of the group CEO. They will provide a sharp focus on integration and consolidation of SingPost's next phase of growth.

Managing the declining mail volume while we leapfrog into global e-commerce logistics continues to be a top priority. Hence, the continuity and guidance provided by the board, in particular the executive committee, is crucial in ensuring that the momentum of SingPost's transformation remains unabated.

We are confident that we are on the right track to accelerate transformation, as we build a global e-commerce logistics business on the back of our strong postal backbone.

Jason Lim

Assistant Vice-President

Investor Relations

Singapore Post

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2015, with the headline 'SingPost continually reviews board's effectiveness, composition'. Print Edition | Subscribe