MALAYAN Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia's largest lender, announced that Datuk Abdul Farid Ali will replace Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar as president and chief executive officer (CEO) on August 2.
This can be seen as timely and a gift for Malaysians, particularly those who celebrated Hari Raya a week after the announcement.
Timely also because the bank would have its second-quarter financial results briefing a few weeks after, and in this case, it needed to make known the new president and CEO who will chart the bank's directions.
The announcement also helped end speculations on who will fill the "big shoes" left by Abdul Wahid, who was appointed minister in the Prime Minister's Department in June.
The media had a field day in speculating on the possible candidates to helm Maybank.
However, an observer thinks that the practice should be avoided.
"It's actually a very sensitive issue. This may reduce the chances of a capable and able person to take over the job as he is given too much exposure by the media.
"The decision makers may think that the person is courting the media to increase his chance for the post.
"In the end, if he was not appointed, he would be left frustrated and disappointed, even if it (promoting himself) was not his own doing ," the observer said.
Prior to the announcement, the market was rife with speculation that Maybank unit Bank Internasional Indonesia's president director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli was a favourite to land the post, besides Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who is the CEO of Maybank Investment Bank and Maybank Kim Eng Group.
Farid appears to have a solid background, with an initial career at Aseambankers in 1992 after graduating from Pennsylvania State University in the United States.
He has also been with multinational institutions like Schro-ders and JP Morgan while locally, he has worked at the Malaysian International Merchant Bankers and Khazanah Nasional Bhd as well as sat on the boards of several public-listed companies.
With such an impressive background, all eyes are closely watching Farid to bring Maybank to the next level.
Meanwhile, issues affecting other government-linked companies were also a staple for the media over the festive season.
The call for management changes and privatisation of Malaysia Airlines is one example.
In this regard, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was quick to respond that MAS will not be privatised as the airline's transformation plan to turn it around has shown encouraging results.