Soo Kok Leng (Singapore Businessman)
Soo Kok Leng
|Education||Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Master of Business Administration|
|Alma mater||University of Singapore, University of Strathclyde|
Soo Kok Leng (born 1953) is a veteran Singaporean businessman who has helmed the boards of several corporate companies such as JTC Corporation, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Temasek Management Services. He had also served as Singapore's ambassador to the Republic of Austria for ten years. In recognition of his public service contributions, Soo Kok Leng was conferred the Public Service Medal and the Public Service Star in 2006 and 2017 respectively.
Soo Kok Leng has decades of experience in the corporate world, with a portfolio ranging from human resource management to business administration. Speaking at a 2019 ST Book Club event that was held in conjunction with the launch of his first book, he said:
"The world is so complex, so volatile. Men thinking alone is not good enough; Chinese (people) thinking alone is not enough. You cannot have only one kind of thinking - we need greater diversity in the workplace."
Soo Kok Leng is an alumnus of the National University of Singapore (formerly the University of Singapore), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. He has also furthered his studies at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, graduating with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Soo Kok Leng began his career in 1977 as an engineer in Hewlett Packard (HP). He worked for HP for about 20 years, having risen through the ranks to become the company's Director of Human Resource by 43 years old.
Upon leaving his first job at Hewlett Packard (HP), Soo Kok Leng shifted his area of expertise to business administration and has since held senior positions across various companies. Notably, Soo Kok Leng served for more than 15 years as the Chairman of Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics. In 2016, Kwa Chong Seng, the then-Chairman of ST Engineering, spoke about Soo Kok Leng's long service at ST Electronics. He said:
"On behalf of my fellow Directors and Management, I would like to acknowledge with deep appreciation, Guong Ching and Kok Leng’s vital contributions and valuable insights to the respective Boards."
At the time of writing, Soo Kok Leng is the Chairman and Director of CapitaLand Commercial Trust and the Chairman of Temasek Management Services. From 2003 to 2012, he had worked as a corporate adviser for Temasek Management Services' parent company, Temasek Holdings.
The following is a list of Soo Kok Leng’s key board appointments over the years.
|2014 - current||CapitaLand Commercial Trust||Chairman|||
|2013 - current||Director|
|2004 - 2010||Mediacorp||Director|||
|2004 - 2007||JTC Corporation||Chairman|||
|2000 - 2007||Director|
|- current||Temasek Management Services||Chairman|||
|1999 - 2016||Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics||Chairman|||
|1997 - 2002||3Com Technologies||Vice President|||
|3Com Asia Pacific||Director|
3Com Technologies (1997 - 2002)
From 1997 to 2002, Soo Kok Leng was the Vice President and General Manager of 3Com Technologies, a digital electronics manufacturer. He was also a Director for 3Com Asia Pacific, the regional division of 3Com Technologies. In his roles, Soo was in charge of the regional supply chain and customer support in the Asia Pacific region.
JTC Corporation (2000 - 2007)
In January 2000, Soo Kok Leng was appointed as a Director of the industrial management company, JTC Corporation. In January 2004, he was appointed as the Chairman of the company. During his tenure at JTC, Soo was involved in key projects such as the Jurong Rock Caverns and One-north, a research and development-based cluster in Singapore. Soo Kok Leng had reportedly said the following about the Jurong Rock Caverns project:
"The development of the underground hydrocarbon storage cavern at Jurong Island is a strategic project that will further enhance the cluster concept and bring even more benefits to Jurong Island companies."
Soo stepped down from both his leadership roles at JTC in December 2007.
Think Wits Win: How To Use Sun Zi’s Art Of War For Success (2019)
Soo Kok Leng is also a published author. He released his first book, Think Wits Win: How To Use Sun Zi’s Art Of War For Success in July 2019. The book was based on a military treatise titled The Art of War which was written by the ancient Chinese military strategist, Sun Zi. Soo Kok Leng's book spoke about how Sun Zi's war tactics could be applied to the business world. In a 2019 interview with The Straits Times, Soo recalled using one of Sun Zi’s strategies to help mediate negotiations during his tenure at HP:
“Sun Zi said (winning a war can be) a numbers game. We must divide and conquer. We were about to have a union party, only for members. So I told him (lead negotiator)...why don’t I help you make the union party the best ever? So that your members will be the envy of the non-members, then they will see a reason to join the union.”
According to a 2019 report by The Straits Times, Soo Kok Leng had been giving workshops about Sun Zi for over 20 years. Published by the Straits Times Press, Think Wits Win: How To Use Sun Zi’s Art Of War For Success retails at S$30 as of November 2020.
From 2007 to 2018, Soo Kok Leng was an adjunct professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He was a part of the NUS Division of Engineering and Technology Management, educating students on interdisciplinary research and technological innovation.
Ambassador to the Republic of Austria (2007 - 2017)
Soo Kok Leng was appointed as the non-resident ambassador to the Republic of Austria in 2007 and he served for ten years in the position. For his meritorious services to Austria, Soo Kok Leng was conferred the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Star by the Republic of Austria in 2017.
- “Board of Directors”. CapitaLand Commercial Trust. n.d. Accessed on 15 September 2020.
- “Our Leadership”. Temasek Management Services. n.d. Accessed on 15 September 2020
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “MFA Press Statement: Appointment Of Singapore’s Ambassador To The Republic Of Austria, Singapore's Ambassador To The Czech Republic And Singapore's Ambassador To The Slovak Republic”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. February 21, 2007. Accessed on 15 September 2020.
- "Public Service Medal Recipients 2006". Prime Minister's Office. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- "Public Service Star Recipients 2017". Prime Minister's Office. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- Ho, Olivia. "Straits Times Book Club discusses strategies of ancient Chinese general Sun Zi". The Straits Times. August 1, 2019. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- "SMU LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM 2019 – SOW. SPROUT. SOAR". Singapore Management University. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- “What you need to know as an Independent Director of a REIT manager”. REITAS. n.d. Accessed on 16 September 2020.
- Kok Leng Soo. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 15 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kok-leng-soo-b7009772/
- “Soo Kok Leng”. SMU Leadership Symposium. n.d. Accessed on 16 September 2020.
- Lee Yee Hwa. "An informal environment based on trust". The Straits Times. September 13, 1996. Accessed on 2 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
- "Renewal of Board Chairmen At ST Engineering's Subsidiaries". ST Engineering. February 12, 2016. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- "MediaCorp gets 2 new directors". TODAY. June 1, 2004. Accessed on 2 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
- “MediaCorp appoints new Board of Directors”. Mediacorp. July 22, 2010. Accessed on 16 September 2020.
- Tan Hui Yee. "ST Electronics' Soo Kok Leng is new JTC chairman". The Straits Times. January 16, 2004. Accessed on 2 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
- “Cedric Foo Appointed Chairman, JTC Corporation”. Ministry of Trade and Industry. n.d. Accessed on 16 September 2020.
- Tin Can Communications. "3Com opens US$70 million Singapore manufacturing plant". 3Com Corporation. November 3, 1998. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- "Five things to know about the Jurong Rock Caverns". The Straits Times. September 2, 2014. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- "JTC begins construction of Jurong Rock Cavern at Jurong Island". JTC Corporation. February 8, 2007. Accessed on 2 November 2020. Retrieved from Get For Me Singapore.
- Aw, Cheng Wei. “Ancient Chinese war tactics inspired businessman”. The Straits Times. July 15, 2019. Accessed on 16 September 2020.
- Straits Times Press. "THINK WITS WIN". Facebook. July 9, 2019. Accessed on 16 September 2020.
- "THINK WITS WIN: HOW TO USE SUN ZI'S ART OF WAR FOR SUCCESS BY: SOO KOK LENG". Straits Times Press. Accessed on 2 November 2020.
- "THREE ENVOYS TO EUROPE NAMED". The Straits Times. February 22, 2007. Accessed on 2 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
- "NEW AMBASSADORS APPOINTED". TODAY. February 22, 2007. Accessed on 2 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.