30 HR Executives, 2 Senior Engineers Resigned From SMRT Within The Past 8 Months

In April last year, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek stepped down from his post after nearly six years, during what was probably the company’s most tumultuous period.

Barely a week after Kuek vacated his role, Gerard Koh — SMRT’s chief corporate officer in charge of IT, procurement, HR and training — tendered his resignation.

Following his departure, 30 executives in SMRT’s human resource (HR) department have resigned from the company within the past 8 months.

Their ranks vary across all levels, and they have either left or are serving notice.

In addition, two senior engineers also left the firm since August last year.

One is a senior vice-president of maintenance and engineering, while the other led Singapore Rail Engineering, which is a business unit set up by Kuek five years ago to build and market SMRT’s engineering expertise.

According to The Straits Times, SMRT’s corporate communications department is also affected by resignations.

It was unclear how many people from the said department have resigned except for SMRT’s chief commuter engagement officer.

This wave of resignations is expected to not end anytime soon as sources predict that more resignations will take place once the annual bonus is paid next month.

What Do These Resignations Mean?

Commenting on these resignations, SMRT said that they have “streamlined and reassigned headcount from corporate headquarters“.

The statement does not account for much, and does not explain why they are facing a HR exodus.

It could be that SMRT HR’s department is undergoing business reformation under new leadership and those who feel misaligned to this new direction could have resigned.

At the end of the day, HR is a core and vital function within the company so the management needs to step up and do something about it if it continues to ‘bleed’.

On the flipside, SMRT can use this opportunity to rebuild a team that is aligned to its vision and can follow its new direction.

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