Thailand’s largest mobile operator AIS expanded the role of its COO, Hui Weng Cheong, who has now taken up the reinstated position of president.
The appointment, which the company said was part of a larger restructuring programme to improve efficiency and focus on digital services, is seen as a sign that Singtel, which now has a 32 per cent stake in AIS, aims to take a more active role in the Thai carrier’s operations, a source told the Bangkok Post.
Hui, a Singtel executive who joined AIS in 2006, will continue to report to CEO Somchai Lertsuthivong. This is the first time AIS has had both a CEO and a president.
Yingluck Shinawatra, the youngest sister of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was the first to hold the position of president at AIS. She was succeeded by Wichian Mektrakarn after Thaksin sold his telecoms business to Temasek Holdings, the Post said. Wichian served as president for about a year, but the position was replaced with a chief executive post.
Singtel announced in August it would boost its stake in AIS from 23.3 per cent. Singtel entered into a share purchase deal with state-investment firm Temasek Holdings to acquire 21 per cent of InTouch Holdings, which owns a 40.6 per cent stake in AIS.
An InTouch source told the Post that AIS plans to reshuffle its board after chairman Vithit Leenutapong resigned last month, with Boon Swan Foo, a representative of Temasek, expected to step down after Temasek reduced its ownership. Singtel is likely to fill the vacancies with its own representatives.