NKF sacks CEO Edmund Kwok, says personal indiscretion not related to stewardship of finances

Mr Edmund Kwok, former chief executive officer of National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
Mr Edmund Kwok, former chief executive officer of National Kidney Foundation (NKF).PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has sacked its chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Edmund Kwok.

The move made by the NKF board took effect on Monday (Nov 14).

In the interim, a three-member executive committee (Exco) appointed by the board, chaired by NKF chairman Koh Poh Tiong and supported by board members Bennett Neo and Johnny Heng, will assume all CEO duties and responsibilities until the middle of December.

Mrs Eunice Tay, former CEO of NKF, will then take over the responsibilities of the CEO from the Exco until a new CEO is found.

A search for a new CEO will commence soon, said the NKF in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 16).

 

"The Board of NKF would like to assure all stakeholders, including patients, donors, supporters and employees, that Mr Kwok's personal indiscretion has nothing to do with the stewardship of our finances," NKF said.

"Our operations are not affected by this matter and our services to patients and beneficiaries continue as per normal."

Mr Kwok took up the reins of the NKF in 2013, after serving as chief operating officer under then CEO, Mrs Tay. He was formally vice-president of oncology at Parkway Healthcare, and also held positions at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the Institute of Mental Health.

When contacted, the Ministry of Health said it had been informed by NKF of Mr Kwok's termination. "We note that the Board has put in place plans to ensure business continuity, and we will work with NKF to ensure that services to patients are not disrupted," the ministry added.

The NKF was embroiled in a scandal in 2005 when it was revealed that then chief executive T. T. Durai lived a lavish lifestyle using funds raised by the charity. The foundation pulled the plug on large-scale public fund-raising events after that.

NKF donor numbers plummeted from a pre-scandal figure of 280,000 to about 154,000 in April 2014.

But the NKF has since restructured after the scandal, with better corporate governance. In 2005, social service veteran Gerard Ee took over the reins of the NKF. Mr Ee left the foundation seven years later, after restoring the public image of the charity.

The NKF also resumed its public fund-raising efforts at its 45th anniversary dinner in 2014, nearly a decade after the scandal.