Spring Singapore chief to step down

Mr Tan Kai Hoe, 48, was appointed chief executive of Spring Singapore in May 2013.
Mr Tan Kai Hoe, 48, was appointed chief executive of Spring Singapore in May 2013.

Spring Singapore chief executive Tan Kai Hoe will step down next Friday to take a position in the private sector, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced yesterday.

Deputy chief executive Ted Tan will be the acting chief executive from next month until a new head is appointed. He has been with Spring since April 2009 and is currently leading its industry and enterprise development efforts.

Mr Tan Kai Hoe, 48, joined Spring Singapore as deputy chief executive in June 2009 and was appointed chief executive in May 2013. Prior to that, he was the chief of staff (Naval Staff) of the Republic of Singapore Navy. He was also a President's Scholar and a recipient of the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship.

MTI said that under his leadership, Spring Singapore expanded its efforts to develop the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector in Singapore. The agency implemented several initiatives, such as the SME Talent Programme, and strengthened partnerships between large organisations and SMEs under the Partnerships for Capability Transformation programme.

It also simplified its programmes to make it easier for SMEs to apply for productivity and capability upgrading support.

Mr Tan said that in the past few years, Spring Singapore has ramped up its programmes to help SMEs cope and find new growth areas as the economy restructures. As a result, the start-up scene has become more vibrant in the last couple of years, he said. "What has been most gratifying for me were the many moments when SME bosses came up to thank me and compliment Spring Singapore colleagues for helping them," he added.

Mr Chee Hong Tat, Second Permanent Secretary for MTI, said that Spring Singapore has sharpened its focus on SME transformation efforts under Mr Tan's charge. "I thank Kai Hoe for his years of service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours," he added.

Details of Mr Tan's private-sector job were not disclosed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline 'Spring Singapore chief to step down'. Print Edition | Subscribe