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Reuters now report that Ho Ching told her employees that had she had to leave on a high note, she could have done so last year. Last year Temasek's port folio rose 43% year-on-year to $186 billion at the end of March. The same last year, her husband had no inkling that the election results will net a significant dive at the polls.
This is not the first time there has been talk that Ms Ho Ching, wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, might leave Temasek, and probably not the last. In 2009, it was officially announced that former BHP Billiton CEO Charles Goodyear would be her replacement. Chairman Dhanabalan, while trumpeting that "Ho's resignation had nothing to do with her performance", even cited a White Paper that supposedly tabulated the rationale for her stepping down. Nobody saw that piece of documentation. What we witnessed next was the sudden departure of Goodyear 4 months after his appointment on 1 March, with Temasek citing "unresolved strategic differences." The main stream media quoted stuff like Goodyear would not allow Blackberries to be used during meetings.
Ho Ching's first high profiled resignation in 2003, then from the Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engg) board, was when chairman Yeo Ning Hong chastised her for giving a million dollar bonus to one of her managers. She left in a huff and "told my father-in-law to take care of it." Yeo was promptly taken to the woodshed, given a dressing down in parliament, and she was back in charge. Lee Kuan Yew proudly added, "...and in a higher income tax bracket." That parliamentary speech is in the Hansard, you just have to search for it.
Now the more interesting story is why Lee Hsien Yang left Singtel....