SATS Appoints New Chairman

May 17, 2024
Outgoing chair, Euleen Goh, will serve as an advisor to Irving Tan.
Irving Tan
Irving Tan

SATS Ltd. has announced the appointment of Irving Tan as an independent director and chairman-designate as part of the group’s board leadership renewal process. Tan will succeed Euleen Goh as chairman, following the conclusion of the group’s annual general meeting on July 19.

After Goh relinquishes her position, she will be appointed as advisor to the chairman.


Who is Irving Tan?

Tan is currently executive vice president, Global Operations at Western Digital, a leading maker of data storage devices. He is responsible for all global operations functions at the company, including manufacturing, procurement and supply chain, and information technology. He has previously served as chairman of Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Greater China at Cisco. He has held management and leadership positions in the high-tech sector and has decades of experience in sales and global operations, market transitions, and customer and government dynamics.

“I am excited to join SATS as it continues its transformation into a global aviation services company, focused on capturing the growth opportunities that the global aviation sector offers, to create value for our stakeholders. In parallel, I look to SATS continuing its ESG efforts to be a responsible corporate steward and playing a key role in bringing together the ecosystem to address the critical sustainability challenge. I look forward to working with the SATS Board and Management to build on the strong foundations put in place over the years, to realise the tremendous potential that SATS offers going forward,” said Tan.

Accomplishments during Goh's tenure

Goh was appointed as an independent director in 2013 and served as chairman since 2016. During her tenure, the group’s stock price hit a record high in 2018.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Goh’s leadership via the board steered the group through a lengthy period of unprecedented uncertainty, in particular, supporting SATS’ operational pivot during the pandemic to facilitate imports of vital supplies, such as vaccines, medical supplies and foodstuffs, into Singapore.

Ahead of the recovery, the board supported management’s plans as SATS ramped up operations safely in readiness for the aviation restart as the global economy emerged from the pandemic.

Recent geopolitical events and the pandemic had transformed the business landscape and Goh’s tenure has seen SATS gain critical mass in key market geographies through strategic acquisitions. This formed part of efforts to high-grade the group’s business portfolio. Key amongst these was the acquisition of Worldwide Flight Services in 2023 for S$1.8 billion in a deal billed as one of the largest acquisitions in Singapore’s corporate history.

Under her chairmanship, SATS has since swung back to profitability with group reported revenues for the 12 months ended December 2023 up three times and EBITDA up six times from last year.

Having served on the SATS Board for more than a decade, Goh has amassed deep institutional knowledge, expertise and invaluable insights into the group’s business, while forging strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders from the aviation sector, regulators and customers. she will continue to extend her experience and know-how to the group in her new capacity as advisor to the chairman.

Goh hands over a group that is now the world’s leading global air cargo handler, the leading aviation caterer in Asia, and is led by a global management team focused on building on its leadership position while developing financial resilience and business sustainability. At the same time, SATS is accelerating efforts on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) front to enhance value for stakeholders while doing its part in tackling the climate emergency.

“I am honored and humbled to have led SATS as chairman during a critical phase in the group’s evolution that is transforming SATS into a global institution, geared for sustainable growth with a strong Singapore home base. Having witnessed the SATS team navigate unprecedented challenges during the pandemic and having led the Group back to profitability, I am confident that SATS will continue growing in key market segments with its expanded global network and will cheer them on from the sidelines,” Goh said.