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Singapore Sports Hub appoints Lionel Yeo as CEO

Lionel Yeo in a press conference to announce that the Singapore Grand Prix will be held for another four years before practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 15, 2017 in Singapore. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Singapore Hub Private Limited, the consortium that manages the Singapore Sports Hub stadium and sports facility, has appointed former Singapore Tourism Board head Lionel Yeo as chief executive.

Yeo is currently an advisor to the chief executive of Singapore-based ride-hailing app Grab, in a job running until December 31. He will assume his position at Singapore Sports Hub from February 3, 2020.

Sports Hub chairman Bryn Jones said the search for a new chief executive started in June. Previous chief executive Oon Jin Teik resigned in January, a year after taking on the role.

Jones, who was interim chief executive, said in a statement that Yeo would “lead the team behind SportsHub to deliver a comprehensive programme for everyone in Singapore to watch, play and support sports events and also enjoy world class entertainment.”

Yeo said: “The Singapore Sports Hub is a major national project that I had been involved with during my time in government service. I am aware of the challenges Sports Hub faces and also of its achievements and tremendous potential.”

During Yeo’s tenure at the tourism board, Singapore’s visitor arrivals grew by 30 per cent and hit new records. During this time, Singapore hosted several major sporting events, including the Women’s Tennis Association Finals, the Singapore Rugby Sevens and football’s International Champions Cup.

A Grab spokesperson told Today that Yeo had played a key role in building strategic relationships and programmes with governments and industry partners.

James Walton, the head of professional and financial services company Deloitte’s Southeast Asia sports business group, said to the Straits Times: “He’s (Yeo) very well-regarded and well-thought of, and he has the right connectivity at all levels of the Singapore government, as well as key parts of the private sector, and even the sporting ecosystem, from a major events point of view.

“He can help bring some stability and strategic direction, and bridge that private sector-public sector gap that has been there for the last couple of years.”

Yeo will be the fourth person to take on the chief executive role at the Sports Hub, after Philippe Collin-Delavaud (March 2011 to December 2015),  Manu Sawhney (October 2015 to May 2017), and Oon.

In 2018, the Sports Hub hosted over 210 events and welcomed more than 3 million visitors.