Suspended CEO bets job against FGV chairman

(MMO) – Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) Datuk Zakaria Arshad has delivered an ultimatum to the company’s shareholders to back either him or chairman Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad to stay.

According to Zakaria, who was suspended following his refusal to quit, he cannot continue working with Isa following the disagreement over receivables at FGV subsidiary Safitex.

“Under the circumstances, I cannot go on working in FGV. Shareholders have to decide … either he goes or I go,” he told StarBiz in an interview, referring to Isa.

“How to work if he’s still there? … The shareholders can choose either one, they can decide.”

In the interview, Zakaria also listed other occasions when the two had clashed, claiming it all started when he picked an internal candidate to head the plantations unit while Isa had someone else in mind.

He also said he was overruled by the board twice when it came to investing in non-plantation-related areas: £100 million (RM550 million) into nanocarbon manufacturer Felda Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, and RM300 million for a 30 per cent stake in a Klang factory.

“There are other examples, direct negotiations, direct contracts… I’ve been entrusted with managing the company well and when I enforce it, then this is what happens,” Zakaria said.

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