Kooi to retire after 23 years as CFO and CEO of M1 Singapore

05 November 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


One of the industry’s longest serving female senior executives, Karen Kooi, is to retire.

A founder of Singapore’s MobileOne (M1) and the CEO since 2009, Kooi will leave her post next month, the company announced today.

Kooi was CFO from August 1995, responsible for the initial planning, development and launch of M1, until she became CEO nine years ago.

She will be succeeded by Manjot Singh Mann, who will join as the new CEO on 6 December. However, Kooi will remain an adviser until the end of February 2019 – especially as M1 is facing a takeover bid from Singapore Press Holdings, working with Keppel, a marine offshore group, through a joint venture company named Konnectivity.

Mann will join from cloud software company Pareteum, where he was CEO for its Asian operations. He has been there only since August this year, having previously spent four years as CEO of international mobile operator Lebara, based in the UK. Earlier, he run Hutchison’s mobile operation in Indonesia.

Danny Teoh, chairman of M1, said: “Karen, a long-standing and experienced stalwart of M1, has served M1 with distinction in the last 23 years. Under her leadership, M1 has grown and transformed from a pure mobile communications player to a full-service provider.”

He added: “During her tenure as CEO, M1’s fixed services revenue grew steadily, achieving double-digit growth in the last five years. And in more recent times, Karen has overseen M1’s acceleration into the ICT business and the strengthening of its product offerings to capture new opportunities in the digital economy.”

Kooi said: “It has been my privilege and honour to witness and build on M1’s growth since its early beginnings, together with a capable and dedicated management team.”

Teoh said of Mann: “The M1 board is confident that Manjot is well suited to lead M1 in this increasingly competitive landscape, with his global perspective for future growth and unique multi-dimensional view of the industry, having managed an operator in a highly competitive market and led an MVNO across Europe, and more recently, as a leader in an industry helping connect consumers and devices across geographies with the development of products and solutions that promote open mobility.”