Creative founder Sim Wong Hoo’s unexpected death leaves friends, colleagues shocked

Friends voiced their shock at the death of Mr Sim during his wake in Choa Chu Kang. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Creative Technology founder Sim Wong Hoo’s death on Wednesday came as a shock to his friends and employees.

At Mr Sim’s wake in Choa Chu Kang on Thursday, a secondary school classmate said that he had appeared in good health when she bumped into him on Saturday.

The woman, who gave her name as Ms Lim, said the two of them had also just attended a classmate’s wake in October.

Another classmate, who wanted to be known only as Ms Chew, said the group of friends from their Bukit Panjang Government High School days would gather during Chinese New Year.

“He is a modest, humble man. Even though he is very rich, he is very generous with his friends,” she said.

When The Straits Times visited Creative’s office earlier in the day, a receptionist said the CEO was seen at work just this week.

Some of the staff had seen him in the office on Tuesday and there was no change in his appearance, she added.

“I’m shocked. He is always jogging and exercising,” said the employee, who did not want to be named. “I heard he doesn’t eat junk or outside food; he eats quite healthily.”

Mr Sim had said in interviews that he started running in 2007, and had completed more than 50 marathons, including at least a dozen ultramarathons.

Family, friends and colleagues attend Sim Wong Hoo’s wake, at the Garden of Remembrance in Choa Chu Kang. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

In an interview with ST in 2019, Mr Sim had credited running for clearing his mind and sparking new ideas, while trimming his weight.

Creative had alluded to the sudden nature of Mr Sim’s death in a bourse filing on Thursday, which announced that the company’s board has appointed Mr Song Siow Hui, president of the company’s Creative Labs business unit, as interim chief executive officer.

“I have known and worked with Mr Sim for over 30 years,” said Mr Song. “This is a sad and sudden development and we feel a great loss especially since Mr Sim and I recently had extensive discussions on the future direction of the company.”

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Mr Song said that Creative’s founder was “full of fresh vision”, and even had a long discussion with the engineering team the night before and was scheduled for another meeting the next day.

Creative said Mr Sim “passed away peacefully”, without giving further details.

“The best thing to do now is to ensure the continued smooth running of the company, and also to execute and realise the vision and strategy that Mr Sim had,” said Mr Song. 

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