FairPrice group CEO to leave co-op after 23 years

Mr Tan Kian Chew (above) will be handing over his post to Mr Seah Kian Peng, who is currently FairPrice's CEO for Singapore.
Mr Tan Kian Chew (above) will be handing over his post to Mr Seah Kian Peng, who is currently FairPrice's CEO for Singapore.
Mr Tan Kian Chew will be handing over his post to Mr Seah Kian Peng (above), who is currently FairPrice's CEO for Singapore.
Mr Tan Kian Chew will be handing over his post to Mr Seah Kian Peng (above), who is currently FairPrice's CEO for Singapore.

He will helm Singapore Labour Foundation from Jan 1; current S'pore chief to take over

NTUC FairPrice's group chief executive, Mr Tan Kian Chew, 62, will step down at the end of the year after 23 years with the cooperative.

Starting from Jan 1, Mr Tan will helm the Singapore Labour Foundation, which supports the development of the trade union movement, as chief executive.

Mr Seah Kian Peng, 54, NTUC FairPrice's chief executive for Singapore, will become overall CEO, overseeing business growth, strategic development and investments in Singapore as well as abroad.

Since Mr Tan became CEO in 1997, he has focused FairPrice on moderating the cost of daily essentials. This has included introducing a 2 per cent discount for senior citizens on Tuesdays and a 3 per cent discount for pioneers on Mondays, benefiting more than 170,000 seniors each week, NTUC FairPrice said in a media release.

At the same time, the retailer's annual sales have also grown from $752 million in 1997 to $3.2 billion last year. Mr Tan also set up NTUC FairPrice Foundation in 2006, which has disbursed close to $70 million to help the needy.

"I am very proud of what my colleagues and I have accomplished together... in meeting competition, overcoming challenges and leading FairPrice to becoming a clear market leader in Singapore with a strong social mission," he said.

FairPrice chairman Bobby Chin appreciated Mr Tan's years of service. "He leaves FairPrice well poised to continue to deliver significant social good and in sound financial health," said Mr Chin.

"He has built strong relationships not only within FairPrice but also across the group of social enterprises and the labour movement. He is not only a colleague, but also a friend to all and a mentor to many."

Mr Seah, who is an MP for Marine Parade GRC, became deputy chief executive of NTUC FairPrice in 2001. He was promoted to CEO (Singapore) in 2010 and grew the chain's store count here from 99 to 290. He said in a statement that he is "humbled and excited" by the continuing opportunity to serve.

"NTUC FairPrice is an important part of the social fabric of Singapore and we will continue to focus on our social mission of moderating the cost of living for daily essentials while meeting the evolving needs and aspirations of the people of Singapore in this area," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2015, with the headline 'FairPrice group CEO to leave co-op after 23 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe