Chang, aka Teo Woon Tiong, stood down as chairman of PIL on 1 April, with long time managing director SS Teo, taking on the role of executive chairman and managing director of the family owned shipping firm. Chang also retired from PIL’s board but will remain as chairman emeritus and continue to advise the board in “certain strategic areas”.
“I have worked closely with SS for more than 30 years and I am confident that he can provide the executive leadership necessary to bring PIL forward,” he said.
Chang, 99, founded Singapore-headquartered PIL in 1967 with four coastal geared cargoships, and today stands as the world’s 10th largest container line.
Speaking to Seatrade Maritime a year ago when PIL celebrated its 50th anniversary Teo paid tribute to his father’s business instincts. “In a rare interview with The Straits Times in February 2012, my father was called ‘Survivor of the High Sea’. He is cautious but with an eye for opportunity He has an instinct for the industry which comes only with experience. He understands that relationships last far longer than the cycles of boom and bust,” Teo explained.
“That DNA now runs through the company he founded. PIL will continue to be a spirited survivor in this testing environment.”
SS Teo is highly respected member of Singapore’s maritime and wider business communities. He has previously served as both president of the Singapore Shipping Association and chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), and is the current chairman of the Singapore Business Federation.