PETALING JAYA: Prominent Malaysian corporate captain Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng is retiring as executive chairman of Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI) after having helmed the company for four decades.
He has been succeeded by his son, 46-year-old Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow, who assumed the role of group CEO on Jan 1 this year.
Under Khoo’s stewardship, MUI was transformed from a small manufacturer of toothbrushes and carton boxes into a large multi-national and multi-industry group.
Although he shied away from publicity, he was constantly in the 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. Today, the group’s businesses entail retail, property development, hotels, chocolate manufacturing and financial services.
The group operates several renowned business brands such as Laura Ashley and Corus Hotels in the United Kingdom, 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, while the group’s popular chocolate brands include Crispy, Tango, Kandos and Tudor Gold.
Khoo’s illustrious career included several high-profile appointments as chairman of the Tourist Development Corp (now known as the 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) and Bank of East Asia Ltd in Hong Kong, as well as Northwest University in the United States.
For his contributions to society, Khoo was conferred honorary doctorate degrees by three universities – Curtin University of Technology, Australia; Northwest University, US; and UCSI University, Malaysia.
Among the business accolades he has received are the “Manager of the Year Award” by the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia, the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” by the Asian Institute of Management Graduates’ Association of Malaysia jointly with the Association of Banks, the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Global Business” by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, and another “Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship” by Enterprise Asia.
Khoo was also presented with a medal by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, which was established by the US Congress.
Paying tribute to his father, Andrew said: “He has left a huge legacy that’s 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 Group.”