Singtel has consolidated its Singaporean consumer and enterprise businesses into a single operating company and has created a standalone unit named Digital InfraCo.
According to Singtel, the restructure forms part of a “strategic reset” and ongoing efforts to reposition it for long-term growth.
The new unit encompasses the telco group’s regional data centre business, subsea cable and satellite carrier businesses, including Paragon – Singtel’s 5G multi-access edge computing (MEC) and cloud orchestration platform.
Singtel Group CEO, Yuen Kuan Moon, explained that global interest in digital infrastructure will position Digital InfraCo as a “credible growth engine” and enable the telco to “unlock latent value”.
“Singtel has a large and unique portfolio of digital infrastructure assets across Asia, which is a key differentiator for the Group,” he added.
“Since Covid, accelerated digitalisation has turned these assets, the passive backbone of our business, into an area of growth. Having invested heavily in these assets through the years, establishing them as a standalone business will allow us to capture new growth as their importance and appeal continue to increase.”
In 2021, Singtel spun off its ICT arm NCS to accelerate its expansion into Asia Pacific as an autonomous business unit. NCS has since grown in size and scope with a 12,000-strong workforce and a regional footprint that extends to Australia.
In July 2022, Singtel further decentralised its organisational structure by transferring the management of Optus Enterprise to Australia, effectively giving Optus more operational autonomy and direct accountability.
“This consolidation of our consumer and enterprise units in Singapore is designed to empower our core business to optimise synergies and capabilities to drive growth,” added Yuen.
“With a more unified approach, we would be more agile, competitive and compelling when bringing solutions to market. At the same time, this will allow us to deliver better outcomes for our customers, whether they are consumers, small businesses or enterprise customers.”
With the restructuring, Singtel has recruited industry heavyweights Ng Tian Chong and Jorge Fernandes to the Singtel Group management team.
Ng has been appointed CEO of the consolidated Singtel business with effect from 1 June 2023. He joins the telco after spending over 30 years at HP, where he most recently served as senior vice president and managing director of the hardware vendor’s Greater Asia business.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Singtel, a storied Singapore brand that is very much part of the Singapore growth story. I hope to play a key role in meeting the evolving needs of our consumers and business customers and driving Singtel’s next phase of digital growth,” Ng stated.
Anna Yip, CEO of Singtel’s Singapore consumer business, and Lim Seng Kong, managing director of the local enterprise business, will both report to Ng.
Yip will be redesignated deputy CEO of the combined entity and additionally head up business development, tasked with driving Singtel’s digital finance portfolio which includes GXS Bank and Dash.
In addition, he will be responsible for the regional growth of the GOMO brand, as well as developing new business-to-business-to-any end-user (B2B2X) ventures that are ‘value accretive’ to the Group.
“I’m delighted to be part of the team driving the consolidation of Singapore’s consumer and enterprise businesses and look forward to working closely with Tian Chong to draw on the synergies of collaboration to take the business forward,” said Yip.
“I also look forward to growing our digital finance and B2B2X businesses, by building on our local operational experience to reach new markets and customers with like-minded strategic partners.”
Meanwhile, Bill Chang will relinquish his enterprise business portfolio to helm the new Digital InfraCo from 1 June.
“The growth of the digital economy has pushed up the value of infrastructure assets around the world and Singtel’s assets are no exception,” he said.
“I’m excited to be driving the monetisation and value crystallisation of our quality portfolio of assets in an area where we not only have a right to play, but the competitive advantage to win.”
At the same time, Jorge Fernandes will assume the role of group chief technology officer, also from 1 June. Prior to Singtel, he most recently served as CTIO at Rogers Communications in Canada.
“I’m honoured and thrilled to be joining Asia’s leading communications technology group and top 10 global telecom brand with such a proud tradition and forward-looking commitment towards innovation, technological firsts and investment,” Fernandes added.
“I look forward to bringing my breadth of global experience and team leadership to the organisation and supporting Singtel’s ambitions to harness technology to empower consumers, companies and communities.”
Fernandes is a seasoned telco executive, with the bulk of his career spent as CTO of Vodafone where he led technology strategy and delivery execution across Vodafone in the UK, Turkey and Portugal.
He replaces Mark Chong who was seconded to AIS, Singtel’s Thai regional associate, as its deputy CEO in December 2022.
“We’re very pleased to bring on board leaders of Tian Chong’s and Jorge’s calibre. Their expertise and experience across a diversity of developed and emerging markets will no doubt add to our bench strength as we strive to advance our core business and pursue new business,” added Yuen.
“At the same time, I have every confidence that Bill and Anna will build on our strong infrastructure legacy and mobile core to create opportunities for new growth.”