Lee Theng Kiat (Singapore Businessman)

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Lee Theng Kiat
Lee Theng Kiat.jpg
EducationBachelor of Laws (Honours)
Alma materNational University of Singapore

Lee Theng Kiat (born 1953) is the current Chairman of Temasek International and SingTel Telecommunications Limited.[1] A veteran in the business and investment sectors, Lee has held board positions in various companies in Singapore.



Lee Theng Kiat was a student at National Junior College.[2][3] He is also an alumnus of the National University of Singapore (NUS),[4] where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the Faculty of Law in 1976.[5][6][7]


A lawyer by training, Lee Theng Kiat started his career at the Singapore Legal Service. Over the years, he has been appointed to numerous senior management positions in several well-known companies. As of July 2020, he is the Chairman of SingTel Telecommunications Limited as well as the Executive Director and Chairman of Temasek Holdings.

Early career

After university, Lee Theng Kiat served in the Singapore Legal Service for over eight years before transitioning into the communications and business sectors.[7][8] The Singapore Legal Service is an association of lawyers who serve in various government institutions such as the statutory boards and ministries.[9] A 1984 news report states that he was the Assistant Registrar of Companies at the time.[10] He reportedly left the Legal Service in 1985 to join a private firm.[11] Prior to Lee Theng Kiat's leadership appointments in ST Telemedia in 1994, Lee held various senior positions in other companies under the Singapore Technologies Group where he oversaw legal and business development plans.[8]

Singapore Technologies Telemedia (1994 - 2012)

Lee Theng Kiat in 2010 with U Mobile's Chairman at the time, Tan Sri Vincent Tan. Photo from source.

From 1994 to 2012, Lee Theng Kiat served as the founding President and Chief Executive Officer for Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia), a communications and media investment company.[1] During his tenure at ST Telemedia, Lee expanded the company’s influence in the Asia Pacific region,[12] Europe and America.[7] In 2010, ST Telemedia invested in U Mobile, reportedly Malaysia's fourth-largest mobile phone operator at the time.[13] A year later, Level 3 Communications, a broadband service provider based in the United States, bought Global Crossing, in which ST Telemedia held a 60 per cent stake.[14] ST Telemedia is also the main shareholder of StarHub.[15][16]

Temasek Holdings (April 2012 - September 2015)

Lee Theng Kiat (far right) with PM Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching in 2013. Photo from source.

In April 2012, Lee Theng Kiat was appointed by Temasek Holdings as its General Counsel and President.[17] As the company's General Counsel, Lee acted as an advisor to Temasek’s senior leaders in terms of portfolio and investment decisions.[18][19] In September 2015, Lee retired from his roles as the General Counsel and President of Temasek Holdings.[20]

Temasek International (October 2015 - current)

From October 2015 to March 2019, Lee Theng Kiat was the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek International, the management and investment division of Temasek Holdings.[1] As the CEO, he oversaw the company’s investments and its role as a shareholder and investor in its subsidiaries. In April 2019, Lee took over as the Chairman of the company.[21]

SingTel Telecommunications Limited (July 2020 - current)

In December 2019, Lee Theng Kiat was announced as the designated Chairman for SingTel and would fully assume the post starting July 2020.[22] Besides this post, he is also a Director and the Chairman of SingTel’s finance and investment committee.

Conflict of interest

Due to Temasek Holdings being the largest controlling shareholder of SingTel and his board positions in both companies, Lee Theng Kiat was named as a Non-executive and Non-independent Director of SingTel.[23] This meant that he would remain a part of SingTel (non-independent) but would not be involved in the company’s daily operations (non-executive), taking on an advisory role instead.[24][25] As part of its corporate governance practice, a statement released by Temasek Holdings disclosed that Lee Theng Kiat would be recused from any information by Temasek Holdings regarding SingTel or any other Temasek-affiliated companies.[23] The practice of recusal would allow Lee to perform his duties in both Temasek Holdings and SingTel without any conflict of interest.

Board appointments

The following is a list of board appointments that Lee Theng Kiat has held over the years.

Year(s) Organisation Position Refs.
2020 - current SingTel Communications Limited Chairman [6]
Chairman (Finance & investment committee)
Member (Corporate governance & nominations committee)
Member (Executive resource & compensations committee)
Member (Optus Advisory committee)
2019 - current Temasek International Chairman [1]
2015 - 2019 Chief Executive Officer
2012 - current Temasek Holdings Director [26]
2012 - 2015 General Counsel [17]
1994 - 2012 ST Telemedia President [1]
Chief Executive Officer

References/ Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Temasek International chairman Lee Theng Kiat tipped to also helm Singtel board”. The Straits Times. December 16, 2019. Accessed on 11 September 2020.
  2. Kwee, Masie. "Rat race? It's a great life in college". The Straits Times. November 23, 1971. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  3. "NJC alumni target is $20,000". New Nation. May 21, 1980. Accessed on 18 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  4. "Results of law examination". New Nation. April 6, 1973. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  5. "Bachelor of laws exam results". New Nation. April 13, 1976. Accessed on 18 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Board of Directors”. Singtel. n.d. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 One of Mind & Purpose”. TeleChoice International Limited. 2004. Accessed on 15 September 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Leadership Succession at Temasek International”. Temasek. March 19, 2019. Accessed on 15 September 2020.
  9. Singapore Legal Service”. Public Service Commission. n.d. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  10. Sit Yin Fong. "Lawyer requests". Singapore Monitor. March 14, 1984. Accessed on 18 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  11. Gandhi Ambalam. "First directly appointed magistrate resigns". Singapore Monitor. February 24, 1985. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  12. Chan Chao Peh. "Telco coup". TODAY. December 16, 2002. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  13. Huang, Jo-Ann. "ST Telemedia invests in Malaysian telco". TODAY. March 16, 2010. Accessed on 18 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  14. "Level 3 buys Global Crossing for S$3-8b". TODAY. April 12, 2011. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  15. Chan Chao Peh. "M1 not in merger talks with Star Hub". TODAY. October 2, 2003. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  16. "Portfolio". ST Telemedia. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Reuters Staff. “Temasek names ST Telemedia CEO as general counsel”. Reuters. March 30, 2012. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  18. Tan, Andrea. “Temasek Hires ST Telemedia’s Lee as President, General Counsel”. Bloomberg. March 30, 2012. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  19. Amer, John. “The General Counsel as senior leader: more than “just a lawyer”. Korn Ferry. n.d. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  20. Singapore Telecommunications : Announcement of Appointment of Mr Lee Theng Kiat”. Market Screener. December 16, 2019. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  21. Zannia, Neyla. “Dilhan Pillay succeeds Lee Theng Kiat as CEO of Temasek International, while Lee takes over role of Chairman from Ho Ching”. The Online Citizen. March 20, 2019. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  22. "Singtel names Lee Theng Kiat as its next chairman". Channel News Asia. December 16, 2019. Accessed on 18 September 2020.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Appointment of Lee Theng Kiat as Director and Chairman-Designate of Singtel”. Temasek. December 16, 2019. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  24. Byrd, Francis. “What does a non-executive chairman do anyway?”. Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. August 15, 2009. Accessed on 10 September 2020.
  25. Statement of Good Practice”. Singapore Institute of Directors. n.d. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  26. Our Leadership”. Temasek. n.d. Accessed on 14 September 2020.