Our Gratitude and Thanks
to Ho Ching and Lee Theng Kiat
- Temasek Chairman, Lim Boon Heng

We announced in February that Ho Ching would be retiring as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings, and today is, in fact, her last day in this role. We also announced that Lee Theng Kiat would be retiring from his executive role at the same time, but will remain on the Board of Temasek Holdings and as Chairman of Temasek International. 

On behalf of the Board, and all Temasek’s people, I wish both Ho Ching and Theng Kiat well in their retirement, and express our thanks for their dedication to the firm over many years. 

I know Ho Ching will remain busy on causes that remain important to her, particularly strengthening resilience in local communities and leading a broad partnership of organisations to support our response to COVID-19. And I am glad we still have Theng Kiat’s continued contribution on the Board and to chair Temasek International. 


Let me spend a little time reflecting on Ho Ching’s role as CEO. 

Temasek is, in every sense, a changed organisation from the one Ho Ching joined in 2002, and also in every sense, for the better. Her near two decades of service, and leadership of the firm since 2004, has totally transformed Temasek’s business and its role within the community. When she was appointed CEO, our net portfolio value was just S$90b. As you know, it has increased more than four times under her leadership, to S$381b as at our last reporting date. 

Ho Ching has inspired in all of us the importance of doing well, doing right and doing good. Under her stewardship, with the growth of the portfolio, and its increased resilience, Temasek has clearly done well. 

I wanted to take a moment to recognise the extraordinary contribution to Temasek’s doing right and doing good under her leadership. 

She has instilled in the organisation a strong sense of values, underpinned at all times by integrity. Her contribution to building lasting structures on foundations of good governance and sustainability will serve Temasek well, long into the future.  She has shaped the expectations Temasek has of its relationships with its portfolio companies, and of ourselves, and has applied these consistently. More than being a champion of good governance, she has helped shape what it means by applying it, guarding it and advocating it over time 

Across the firm, she built a culture of integrity, backing people to do right, even when it meant going against the tide of the wider market. Thinking like an owner requires a long term mindset and leadership, not followership. She put in place structures and processes that aligned our own outcomes with those of our shareholder, through the cycles. 

Ho Ching has always believed we have a stake in the well-being of our communities and the responsibility to exercise good stewardship through our contributions. Under her leadership, alongside that of my predecessor, Mr S Dhanabalan, we set up Temasek Trust and Temasek Foundation as our key philanthropic platforms to support public good and social causes in a sustainable manner over time.  Each of these organisations has already formed an indelible impression on the communities they serve, and will continue to do so for years to come because of the governance model upon which they were built. 

These organisations have, in many cases quietly, set about identifying unmet needs in our community, then worked with partners to build sustainable programmes to improve people’s lives. The Trust oversees a robust disbursements model, separating the role of funds manager from the delivery of programmes, which is – in turn – executed by Temasek Foundation.  

Ho Ching also passionately convinced and committed Temasek to play a leading role as a champion of sustainability. This was the case, long before the word became synonymous with our investment approach, because Temasek eschewed a focus on maximising returns, instead focusing on the need to generate sustainable returns over the long term. 

Today, the importance of sustainability to our portfolio is exceeded by the importance of making our planet more sustainable, so we have built on our long term commitment to sustainability to focus on how what we do contributes to a better, more sustainable world.  

As ever, Ho Ching threw herself at this challenge, and led passionate conversations with our senior team and the Board about how we would take bold steps to work with our portfolio companies to transition to a low carbon world. 

She reminded us all that divesting carbon-producing companies does nothing to solve the problem for our planet, so encouraged all of us to work with our companies on solutions, mitigation and, in hard to abate areas, credible and transparent offsets. It makes achieving our goals of halving our portfolio emissions by 2030 on the way to a net zero portfolio by 2050 a bit harder, but certainly a lot more meaningful for the planet knowing we are not just passing the problem to other owners. We do what Temasek can do well – own the outcomes by catalysing solutions. 

In the last eighteen months, Ho Ching has also dedicated herself to leading Temasek’s contribution to support the wider COVID-19 relief efforts, both at home and abroad. In that time, she has forged partnerships built in the face of adversity that will continue as we move to a new phase in combating COVID-19. Ho Ching will continue to lead a lot of those efforts around the partnerships that she has helped build, for which we are incredibly grateful. 


I am delighted to once again congratulate Dilhan on his appointment as CEO of Temasek Holdings, and his appointment to the Board as Executive Director. I know how closely he has been working with both Ho Ching and Theng Kiat during the transition. We have a strong team. It has been tested, especially in recent times. The Board is confident that the transition will be a smooth one as Temasek continues the important journey, which Dilhan and his leadership team has begun, toward 2030 and beyond. 

In closing, let me thank Ho Ching and Theng Kiat for their enormous, indeed immeasurable, contributions to building Temasek to what it is today. It is a matter of profound regret that we can’t come together in a group to thank them both as we would normally, but I know many of us will find ways to do so personally, and virtually in the coming days. 


Lim Boon Heng
Temasek Holdings

30 September 2021

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