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Central Group appoints new chairman, CEO

Tos

Tos

Suthichai to helm board; new chief exec Tos vows to make firm a global leader

Central Group's board of directors has unanimously voted to appoint two top executives to prepare the company for heightened international competition.

Suthichai Chirathivat will be chairman of the board, replacing Vanchai Chirathivat, who died last year. His main roles are to supervise and advise the executive committee of Central Group to work effectively to pursue the group's goals while maintaining good corporate-governance policies.

The group also appointed Tos Chirathivat as chairman of the executive committee and chief executive officer of Central Group, succeeding Sudhitham Chirathivat, who retired as of November 29. The board said it expected Tos to ensure the successful implementation of strategies that were carefully put in place by Sudhitham, who during his tenure steadily built a strong foundation for the company.

The announcement was made yesterday. However, the appointments were effective as of November 29.

Under Sudhitham's leadership, Central Group's successes include pushing sales revenue past Bt200 billion for the first time in the company's history. He was also behind the successful expansion of the group's retail business to Europe through its purchase of La Rinascente, an Italian department-store brand, and introducing Central Group as a new international player. It was also Sudhitham who initiated the group's corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Suthichai said: "I would like to thank Khun Sudhitham for his determination and dedication in managing and leading the Central Group for more than 33 years. It is Khun Sudhitham's experience and accurate analyses of various situations that have taken our organisation through economic crises and other obstacles over the years.

"The board of directors has entrusted Tos to take on the leading role in driving Central Group's businesses because he has been a high-level member of the group's management team for more than 24 years, and he has shown his dedication to the organisation while possessing comprehensive and in-depth knowledge about the retail business which is the heart of the group's business. Moreover, his prominent proactive style of working is well balanced with his business creativity." Tos was appointed CEO of Central Retail Corporation (CRC) in 2002, and has played a leading role in proposing many new retail businesses for Thailand by introducing many new formats such as speciality stores and superstores. He also devised many new ideas for customer relationship management (CRM), including the introduction of The 1 Card.

Tos said: "Being chairman of the executive committee and CEO of Central Group is considered a great honour for me, and I have to thank every member of the board of directors for trusting me and offering me the responsibility to steer the management team during a period of great changes in businesses across the more competitive global arena.

"Central Group has always been a leading company because of its outstanding past successes. Many factors have contributed to this success, including a strong core business strategy, the dedication and determination of every member of the management and employees, and the warm support from its business partners and customers. Our goal is to be one of the global business leaders. And I am ready to share all my knowledge and experiences to move the group strongly towards that goal."

Meanwhile, Central Pattana (CPN), a mall developer and a unit of Central Group, has appointed Robinson Department Store president Preecha Ekkunagul as its new CEO and president, effective on January 2. Alan Thomson, CRC director of Southeast Asia operations, has also been promoted as the new president and director of Robinson Department Store, succeeding Preecha.

Preecha succeeds Kobchai Chirathivat as CPN's CEO and president. Kobchai resigned from the posts, but will retain his directorship at CPN.

Separately, Airports of Thailand yesterday announced the appointment of Makin Petplai as its president with effect from Thursday.


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