Changes in top personnel at firms in early 2021

A slew of firms have implemented big changes in their top personnel in the early months of the new year, driven by either shareholder structure transformation or internal requirements.

CEO, general director, M&A, CEO, general director, M&A
Vinh Hoan Corporation has become major shareholder at leading prawn cracker maker SGC from late January 2021

In late January 2021, Sa Giang Import Export Corporation (SGC), a leading prawn cracker maker in the country based in Dong Thap province in the Mekong Delta, completed selling a 49.89 per cent stake to Vinh Hoan Corporation, a leading producer of tra fish (Pangasius) also based in Dong Thap, through a deal valued at around VND348 billion ($15.13 million).

Together with a batch of 100,000 SGC tickers earlier bought in the stock exchange, Vinh Hoan officially became the majority shareholder of SGC with the ownership ratio reaching 51.29 per cent as of January 22, 2021.

Following the move, three out of seven personnel at SGC’s Board of Management were changed. Along with this, Truong Thi Le Khanh, chairwoman at Vinh Hoan, took a seat in SGC’s Board of Management and was appointed as its chairwoman. Vinh Hoan’s current CEO also took a seat on the SGC Board of Management from February 2, 2021, and Le Thi Dieu Thi, acting as quality director at Vinh Hoan, became SGC’s deputy general director.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) moves have also fueled changes in firms' top personnel in the first months of 2021.

Besides changes associated with M&A, many decisions on human resources at big players were based on internal dynamics or generational change.

On January 28, the extraordinary shareholders meeting of Development Investment Construction JSC (DIC Corp.) appointed Phan Van Danh, who is project director at Ho Chi Minh City-based developer Him Lam Land, to its Board of Management.

Through acquiring 67.7 million DIC stock in early December 2020, Him Lam Land increased its stake to 21.49 per cent in DIC Corp. Besides changing personnel, DIC has also set forth ambitious business expansion plans for 2021-2025, with the target of more than tripling its charter capital from the current VND3.125 trillion ($135.87 million) to about VND10 trillion ($434.8 million).

Also in January, big changes were spotted in the shareholder structure of Vietnam Gateway Securities JSC when the entire 23.7 per cent stake held by an individual was transferred to four others, two of whom hold management positions at privately-held Sunshine Group, a luxury real estate developer based in Hanoi. They are CEO Tran Thi Thu Hang (holding 9.7 per cent stake in Vietnam Gateway) and Dinh Huu That (holding 5 per cent) who is an executive at a member company of Sunshine Group.

Albeit no changes have been reported in management positions at Vietnam Gateway, market observers forecast that changes are forthcoming as Vietnam Gateway Securities JSC, which has a meager charter capital of VND110 billion ($4.8 million), is in “hibernation” for a long time now.

M&A deals are anticipated to rebound from mid-2021, with economist Can Van Luc even expecting transfers on the scale of the ones from 2010-2012.

Besides changes associated with M&A, many decisions on human resources at big players were based on internal dynamics or generational change.

Early this month, Nam Long Group appointed Tran Xuan Ngoc as CEO and Nguyen Thanh Son as housing section director at Nam Long Land.

According to Nam Long chairman Nguyen Xuan Quang, the move aims to materialise changes in the company’s new organisational structure and develop core business lines in line with Nam Long’s development strategy for 2021-2030.

Tran Xuan Ngoc used to hold senior positions at Shelf Drilling in Dubai UAE, while Nguyen Thanh Son held important positions at big real estate firms like MIK Group and Vincom.

At the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, Le Hong Ha took on the CEO position at the beginning of the year, taking over from Duong Tri Thanh as part of the roadmap for top executive generation succession at the leading state-run airline. The new CEO, born in 1972, was deputy general director at the group since 2012 and is concurrently holding CEO position at budget carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines.

Earlier, in August 2020, Dang Ngoc Hoa, a member of the Board of Management and deputy general director became chairman of Vietnam Airlines, succeeding Pham Ngoc Minh who reached retirement age.

Though the generation shift was carefully prepared, the current situation with critical impacts from COVID-19 on the global aviation sector poses mighty challenges to the new generation of leaders at the leading state-run carrier.

By Song Thuy

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