Proton Holdings Bhd may appoint Syed Zainal Abidin Mohamed Tahir as the new chief executive officer of the company, replacing former CEO Tengku Mahaleel Ariff.

Zainal Abidin is currently the deputy managing director of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd. (Perodua) and one of the four executive directors of Perodua Auto Corporation, the 49%-owned manufacturing arm of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) and whose other shareholders are Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd (41%) and Mitsui & Co Ltd (10%).

Zainal Abidin used to work in Proton’s manufacturing division during the group’s early years of operation. He later joined Malaysian Trucks and Bus Sdn. Bhd, rised through the ranks to become CEO and moved on the Perodua to become it’s head of production.

Perodua officials said they’ve heard the rumours, but they are not at liberty to comment. Proton officials could not be contacted.

Source: The Edge Daily, Yahoo Finance