KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng, 79, has announced his retirement today as executive chairman of Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI) after four decades at its helm.
Concurrently, his eldest son Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow, 46, has been appointed by the MUI board as its executive chairman after assuming the role of group chief executive officer from 1st January 2018.
MUI, in a statement today, noted Andrew felt his father has left a huge legacy that was near-impossible for anyone to replicate.
“Nevertheless, I shall always look up to what he has achieved, draw inspiration from his remarkable achievements, and continue to follow the values he espoused as I begin to chart a new course for the MUI,” Andrew said.
At present, MUI has two of its subsidiaries listed on the local bourse, namely MUI Properties Bhd and Pan Malaysia Holdings Bhd. Besides that, MUI is the single-largest shareholder in UK-listed Laura Ashley Ltd.
The elder Khoo is known for his genius in transforming MUI from a small manufacturer of toothbrushes and carton boxes into a large multi-national and multi-industry group.
Though shying away from media publicity, he was constantly in the public limelight during the heydays of MUI in the 1980s and early 1990s when, under his leadership, MUI mounted a series of well-publicised major acquisitions.
MUI’s rapid expansion in those years took the business community by storm, and became one of the most closely followed counters in Malaysia.
At its height, the group’s diversified busines1ses included a commercial bank, a licenced finance company, a general insurance group, hotels, prime commercial and landed properties, cement manufacturing, sugar refinery as well as overseas investments.
Today, the MUI occupies a diverse and multinational business footprint comprising retailing, property development, hotels, chocolate manufacturing and financial services.
The group operates several renowned business brands such as Laura Ashley and Corus Hotels in the UK, as well as Metrojaya and Living Quarters in Malaysia.
Some of its established fashion brands include the East India Company, Somerset Bay, Zona, and Cape Cod.
The group’s popular chocolate brands include Crispy, Tango, Kandos and Tudor Gold.
The elder Khoo’s illustrious career included several high-profile appointments as chairman of Tourist Development Corp (now known as Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board), vice chairman of Malayan Banking Bhd and trustee of the National Foundation.
He also sat on the boards of SCMP Group Ltd (South China Morning Post), Bank of East Asia Ltd of Hong Kong and Northwest University in the US.