Hopes of Malaysians for a foreign CEO to steer Proton into a better era is dashed with this statement which our PM gave to Malaysian press during his 3-day visit to South Africa.

On Tengku Mahaleel’s successor, Abdullah said that the new CEO would be experienced and one who had served about 12 years with Proton.

“We’ll see who’s going to be the CEO. It will not be a foreigner. Don’t start speculating,” he said when asked to comment on talks that a foreigner might be appointed to replace Tengku Mahaleel.


Served 12 years with Proton? Fits Norzahid’s profile. Norzahid joined Proton in 1993 as regional manager for Europe. I am not sure when he left Proton as he is Hicomobil Sdn Bhd’s chief executive now, but 1993-2005 is equal to 12 years. Hicomobil Sdn Bhd distributes the Chevrolet make in Malaysia.

Norzahid Mohd Zahudi
Norzahid Mohd Zahudi – Next Proton CEO?

Mahaleel had done good, transforming Proton from a rebadge assembler into a manufacturer that makes it’s own models. Now what remains to be done is to market the cars and increase sales. I doubt strategies like “My First Lotus” for the Savvy is doing it any good locally and internationally.

Norzahid seems to fit the marketing man profile well. Some of his tasks included implementing international marketing strategies for Trisilco Sdn Bhd, a company dealing mainly with telecommunications engineering-related products and services.

Could he be the next person in the Proton CEO hot seat?

Source: Bernama