1MDB Fires CEO Arul Kanda

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Terminated two days ahead of contract expiry on June 30.

Troubled state investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has sacked its president and chief executive officer, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, effective Thursday (June 28), according to a report by The Edge.

Finance Ministry/Facebook

The termination letter, hand-delivered to Arul on Thursday and sighted by the financial daily, had purportedly said that he was sacked on grounds of dereliction of duties.

FMT reported that it has been reliably learnt that the decision was made during a board meeting on June 25.

Arul was reportedly the sole employee of the sovereign investment fund.

His contract was initially supposed to end in December 2017 but was given another six months of extension in January this year.

The Edge said it was told by sources that Arul was paid RM2.5 million for the extension, with another RM2.5 million to be paid on June 30.

With the sacking, 1MDB would now seek to claim back the RM2.5 million that was already paid to Arul Kanda, the paper added.

Malaysiakini had previously reported that the previous BN administration had agreed to an RM5 million ex-gratia payment for Arul Kanda, and to place him on garden leave until his contract expiry on June 30.

At 38 years old, Arul Kanda joined 1MDB as its third CEO in January 2015 to turn around the cash-strapped state investment fund that was laden with a whopping debt of some RM45 billion at the time.

A lawyer by training, Arul Kanda graduated with a law degree from the London School of Economics and a masters in International Finance Law from University College London.

He then joined a French investment bank on management consulting and specialised in securitisation.

Arul joined Barclay Capital in 2006 and later Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) in 2008.

On Monday, the fund announced Treasury deputy secretary-general overseeing government investment Datuk Asri Hamidon as its new chairman, along with Datuk Muhammad Faiz Azmi, Datin Rashidah Mohd Sies, and Datuk Wan Mohd Fadzmi Wan Othman as its new executive committee.