News Releases

Singtel sharpens digital strategy and expands Group’s leadership team

Singapore, 10 April 2015 Singtel today announced it is sharpening its digital business strategy to accelerate its transformation for growth and competitiveness. It also announced changes to the Group’s senior leadership team.

Greater focus on three digital life businesses

Group Digital Life was set up in 2012 to drive Singtel’s efforts to capture opportunities in the digital world. Following a recent review, Singtel will focus on three key businesses in digital life – digital marketing (Amobee), regional premium video (HOOQ) and advanced analytics and intelligence capabilities (DataSpark), in addition to strengthening its role as Singtel’s digital innovation engine through Innov8.

Digital lifestyle services comprising AMPed, Dash, HungryGoWhere and, and NewsLoop will be managed within the Singapore Consumer business, where they can scale faster to enhance our core telecommunications offerings in Singapore. Certain digital initiatives that are not scalable have been discontinued.

Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO said: “In the last three years, we have experimented to explore opportunities where our unique telco assets can be put to best use in this digital era. We have identified digital marketing, regional premium OTT video and advanced analytics as key growth areas. We will double our efforts to build Amobee, HOOQ and DataSpark to become significant players.”

To help navigate and grow in the fast moving digital space, each of these businesses will be guided by a Board which includes independent directors with relevant industry and domain expertise.

Ms Chua added: “The Group’s ability to innovate in the digital space is key to its transformation success. Singtel Innov8, our corporate venture capital fund, continues to give the Group early access to leading innovations.”

Changes to leadership team  

Singtel continues to expand its senior leadership team. Ms Lim Cheng Cheng, currently the Deputy Group CFO, will be appointed Group CFO. Ms Lim will be responsible for all finance related functions.

Ms Jeann Low, currently the Group CFO, will take on the role of Group Chief Corporate Officer. Ms Low will oversee the Group’s corporate functions which include strategy, mergers and acquisitions, corporate communications, legal, regulatory and procurement.

Mr Samba Natarajan, currently the Managing Director of Digital Enterprise, will be appointed CEO Group Digital Life. He will be responsible for the Group’s digital portfolio, including Amobee, HOOQ, DataSpark and Innov8. He will build on Singtel’s innovation capabilities to capture digital opportunities in both consumer and enterprise segments.

Ms Lim, Ms Low and Mr Natarajan will report to the Group CEO.

Mr Jonathan Auerbach, currently CEO Group Digital Life, will relinquish his executive role but remains associated with the Group as Chairman of HOOQ and Director of Amobee.

Ms Chua said: “Cheng Cheng and Samba bring tremendous experience. We welcome them to our senior executive team. Jonathan has played a key role in sharpening the Group’s digital strategy and will continue to be a strong advocate for Singtel. He plans to move back to the US.”

The changes are effective today. 


Appendix 1

Lim Cheng Cheng

Cheng Cheng, 43, is Group Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the Singtel Group’s finance related functions including tax, treasury and investor relations.

She was appointed Deputy GCFO on 1 October 2014. Prior to that, she was the Managing Director, Group Strategic Investments where she managed Singtel’s investment portfolio. She joined Singtel in 2012 as Vice President, Group Strategic Investment. 

Cheng Cheng brings 23 years of experience in finance and mergers and acquisitions. She previously worked for SMRT Corporation Ltd as Executive Vice President and CFO for 5 years responsible for its financial strategy and management, corporate planning, tax, treasury management, central supplies and procurement, and investor relations. She also worked at Singapore Power for 10 years in various corporate planning, investments and finance roles, the last of which was Head and Vice President (Financial Planning and Analysis). She started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business (formerly known as University of Chicago Graduate School of Business) and a Bachelor in Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University. She is a Chartered Accountant (Singapore), Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.


Samba Natarajan

Samba, 49, is CEO Group Digital Life. He joined Singtel in May 2014 as Managing Director of Digital Enterprise leading a team focused on identifying and executing on growth opportunities from emerging technology trends.

He brings more than 25 years of corporate and consulting experience across a wide range of senior roles in the areas of strategy, business development and finance. He worked for Citibank from 1988 to 1997 and McKinsey & Company since 1999. In his last role with McKinsey, he was the Leader of Southeast Asia Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) practice, consulting with C-level executives in customer organisations, including Singtel, in the areas of growth, transformation, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions and commercial operations.

Samba holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India; a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA.