Speculation is rife that Dongfeng Honda Engine Co deputy general manager Li Chunrong, who has joined Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely) to oversee operations in Proton, will be appointed chief executive officer of the Malaysian automobile company.
A China Press report, quoting the Xinhua state news agency, states that Li left Dongfeng Honda and joined Geely on Aug 22.
However, neither Geely, which owns 49.9 percent of Proton equity, nor Proton confirmed the news of Li being appointed CEO.
Geely’s corporate communication department told China Press that they will only issue a statement on the new CEO for Proton at an appropriate time.
Current Proton CEO Ahmad Fuaad Mohd Kenali, who was appointed in March 2016, also declined to comment on the matter.
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In May, DRB-Hicom sold almost half of its stake in Proton to the Chinese automotive firm, a deal that also saw Geely acquire a 51 percent stake in British sports carmaker Lotus.
Geely chairperson Li Shufu had said that the company’s main priority is to turn Proton around in the shortest time possible.
Prior to this, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed claimed that the Malaysian government would not interfere in Proton’s decision-making, but indicated that the partnership with Geely looked positive in light of the company’s successful revival of car brand Volvo.