HK MTR's Jay Walder to step down in August

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-7-17 11:00:40

Hong Kong's MTR Corporation has announced that the company's Chief Executive Officer, Jay Walder, will leave his post on Aug.15, a year earlier than scheduled, due to poor judgment in monitoring the project of high-speed rail line to Guangzhou.

The chairman of the corporation, Raymond Ch'ien, said Walder's early departure was by mutual consent.

The company said a worldwide search is now underway for a replacement for Walder. Meanwhile, Walder's deputy, Lincoln Leong, will become acting CEO.

The company's announcement was made as a non-executive director committee formed by the MTR's Board that made public its first report on the rail link's delay.

In the report, Walder was criticized for lacking critical judgment to monitor the progress of the project. He was also blamed, along with other Executive Committee members, for lacking foresight in crisis management.

The report had criticized in even stronger terms the MTR's outgoing projects director, T.C. Chew, who announced that he was retiring in October even before the committee was formed.

Chew was criticized for not making known the rail link's delay earlier, saying his assertions that the delays could be recovered were misconceived.

Chairman of Legislative Council's Railways Subcommittee, Michael Tien said the whole board of the MTR Corporation should be held accountable for the two-year delay to the completion of the express rail link to Guangzhou.

Tien said it was right that Walder is held accountable for the "fiasco," but others are also at fault.

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