FGV CEO's tenure uncertain

This was written by my colleague Zaidi Isham Ismail.

KUALA LUMPUR: Although the board of directors of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has endorsed the appointment of Mohammed Emir Mavani Abdullah as president and chief executive officer, questions still remain --- for how long?

Sources said his appointment is official for the time being but the duration of his contract will depend on the authorities.

"No one really knows for how long he will be FGV captain except the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak). It all depends on him. We are in the dark as well. But the board has endorsed Emir's appointment," a source told Business Times in a telephone interview.

An English daily reported yesterday that Emir, who took over from Tan Sri Sabri Ahmad on Tuesday, may not complete his full term. Emir could be given a six-month grace period to leave FGV.

The English daily report also said according to online sources, speculation is rife that his doctorate did not come from an accredited university. Emir pursued his doctorate in Government Reforms from Warnborough University in the United Kingdom in 2008. 

"In a meeting on Tuesday, the board has advised Emir not to use his doctorate. Emir himself has insisted that his peers call him Encik Emir," said another source.

He added that the working relationship between Emir and his staff is cordial and professional, and employees continue their business as usual. 

Sentiments on the ground, however, tell a different story, with rumblings that Felda staff and settlers favour one of their own sons, FGV chief operating officer Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz.

"Felda folk prefer Khairil but let's not forget that Emir was born in a Guthrie plantation in Malacca" said another source.

Emir was made FGV CEO-designate on January 1 as part of a succession plan after the expiry of Sabri's two-year contract. Emir has been FGV director since July 2011. 

Prior to joining FGV, Emir was with Prime Minister's Dept PEMANDU director of oil, gas and energy; and director of financial services, National Key Economic Areas.

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, FGV announced the official appointment of Emir but did not specify the duration of the contract. 

FGV also announced the resignation of Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah from its board of directors. This was due to a change of representative of the Ministry of Finance Inc.