Posted by temasektimes on April 24, 2012
She may be a controversial figure in Singapore, being vilified by many for the mess SMRT is in now, but ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa is still popular among SMRT staff as they threw a farewell party for her yesterday afternoon at Jurong Crew Station, packed with more than 100 staff from the Rail Operations Branch comprising Train Officers, Customer Services Officers from stations, OCC, HQ and the Circle Line.
Walking in crutches after a recent knee operation, Ms Saw was in ‘high spirits’ sharing with her ex-staff and colleagues about a wonderful holiday trip she just returned from. Many walked up to shake her hands and wishing her well in her future endeavors.
[Source: Gin Tai's blog]
Faced with a massive public backlash in the aftermath of last December’s train disruptions, Ms Saw tendered her resignation in January this year. She will be taking over as the Chief Executive Officer of Auric Pacific Group from 1 May onwards.
In a short speech made to the staff, she reminded them never to forget about ‘customer service.’:
“Customer is always right! and customer satisfaction comes first!” she lectured.
She added that SMRT will always remain ‘special’ in her heart and she will never regret or forget about her exhilarating working experience in SMRT.
While Ms Saw has made millions of dollars during her tenure as CEO of SMRT, its standards of service have deteriorated rapidly over the years. Once seen as a proud product of Singapore Inc, SMRT has now become a laughing stock not only in the eyes of Singaporeans, but in the world as well for its frequent breakdowns and disruptions in service.
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Posted by temasektimes on April 5, 2012
Ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Auric Pacific Group with effect from 1 May 2012.
Auric Pacific Group made the announcement today:
Listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, Auric Pacific Group Limited is an investment holding company with diverse business interests ranging from the distribution of fast moving consumer food and non-food products, food manufacturing and retailing, the management of restaurant and food court operations and other strategic investments including property investment.
Auric Group owns core brands and franchises such as Delifrance, Food Junction, Tetsu and Sunshine bread. (read more here)
Ms Saw was blamed by many Singaporeans for the dismal state of SMRT today which is besieged by frequent train delays, disruptions and breakdowns. She resigned from SMRT in January this year following two massive train breakdowns along the North-South Line last December which earned the wrath of the public.
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Posted by temasektimes on April 3, 2012
Ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa has found a new job in a public listed company which is not in the transportation field.
Speaking to queries from the media, Ms Saw said that it was not ‘appropriate’ for her to reveal its identity, given that the company is publicly listed and should make the announcement of her appointment.
The unpopular Ms Saw resigned from SMRT in January this year following two massive train breakdowns along the North-South Line last December which earned the wrath of the public.
She initially said she will stay on to ‘put things right’ in SMRT, but left soon after SMRT convene an internal audit to investigate the breakdowns.
It is not revealed how much Ms Saw will earn in the new company. She reportedly earned S$1.85 million dollars in 2010 which she described in an interview with a local tabloid as ‘reasonable’ and not ‘top-end’.
“…the package is scrutinized, benchmarked to the job that I do… and the pay is not top-end. It’s not top-end.”
She also defended her lavish lifestyle, saying that she had earned her ‘right to spend’, having been a CEO of SMRT for many years.
“I don’t have the fortune that many people have to get married, have many children and dote on them. I’m single… I spend a lot of money on my extended family, especially the older people in my life,” she added.
Meanwhile, as Ms Saw enjoys a new lease of life in another company, SMRT continues to be besieged by frequent delays and disruptions one after another.
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Posted by temasektimes on March 19, 2012
Despite question marks over her management of SMRT in the wake of two disastrous breakdowns in December last year, its beleaguered ex-CEO Saw Phaik Hwa was adamant that her business strategy was correct.
In the latest post on her personal blog on Saturday, Ms Saw wrote:
“This was the first time I was faced with a business whereby costs escalated quickly but revenue did not grow at the same pace. Ridership was growing at a steady but slow two per cent annually, with limited or no fare increase.”
She claimed that as the company “can never cut corners” to improve margins, the “most obvious opportunity” was to make full use of its station assets – the space, adding that the monies brought in from maximising retail and advertising space benefited commuters.
“In doing all these, everyone benefitted. SMRT managed to raise commercial revenue from $28m to more than $100m and hence, averting the need for huge fare increases. With this growth in value of the organisation, shareholders and investors also got good returns,” she wrote.
Ms Saw was forced to resign from SMRT after she became a target of public opprobrium following two disastrous SMRT train disruptions in December last year. She is set to leave SMRT for good on 5 April.
Though she initially vow to stay on to fix the problems at SMRT in the immediate aftermath of the breakdowns, things began to “snowball” and that it was “very difficult because every faction was coming at us”.
She eventually tendered her resignation to SMRT in early January to “defuse the bubble” so SMRT could get on and “do what is right for the organization.”
Ms Saw also said she has received a few offers but has yet to decide, insisting that she is not planning to retire for good for another 5-10 years.
Saw Phaik Hwa wants to share her ‘story’ with Singaporeans
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Posted by temasektimes on March 13, 2012
After disappearing from public spotlight for three months to pursue her own ‘personal interests’, ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa is back again to share her ‘story’ about her 9 years as CEO of SMRT with Singaporeans on her personal blog.
In a post dated two days ago, Ms Saw wrote that she intends to use her blog to talk about the changes taking place in SMRT since the frequent train disruptions, how she transformed the company over the years and ‘what the future holds for both of us.’
She also admitted that she knew little about SMRT before she was ‘headhunted’ to become its CEO.
“When I was asked in 2002 to take up the SMRT post, I knew little about the company, as my last job took me away from Singapore quite a bit and my interaction was largely at an international commercial organisation serving travellers. Since then, times have changed. I feel so much for SMRT and the men and women in the organisation who serve the nation selflessly every day.”
Ms Saw was widely blamed for the spate of train disruptions which took place in December last year triggering a massive public furore which eventually culminated in her ‘resignation’ from SMRT.
Despite her departures, the train delays and disruptions have become a common occurrence with ‘signaling faults’ commonly quoted as a reason.
Some responses from Hardwarezone forumers:
“during her tenure as CEO, public transport standards dropped considerably. Regardless of whether the company’s share price or earnings rose or not, she is a failure.” – weng123
“the smrt inquiry is coming, either this mth or next, so this is just some PR exercise on her part” – satayxp
“It will be good that she shares her side of the story. The board knows her background and is hired to boost non-train business. After that faithful day, she was quite silent and only see LTA in action. 154th put her on a pharoah sedan and the next thing was her ‘sudden’ desire to step down 6 mth ago. The is a huge vacuum of event/info in bewteen that she can help to fill.” – matrix05
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