Proton LogoThe Edge Daily has a sources story regarding the future of Proton’s top management team. According to the report, it is possible that Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir may leave when his contract as the managing director and CEO of Proton expires by the end of this year.

Two potential new candidates for the Proton board were named – Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar and Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, although the report did not say whether any of these two would become the new managing director if Syed Zainal left.

Tan Sri Abdul Rahman has many years of experience in the national automotive industry, having held the position of DRB-HICOM executive director from February 2006 until December 2007 and chairman of EON from February 2006 to July 2008. He was also the managing director of Perodua from May 1997 to April 2004, and a director of Proton and EON from 1991 to 1996 and 1989 to 1996 respectively.

As for Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, he is said to be possibly the new head of Proton’s international operations, but wasn’t this recently filled in by ex-Audi man Claudius Meynert? Or is this a different kind of international operations?

Why is Syed Zainal leaving and will Proton be able to continue its slow but steady recovery plan without him? Did he get a better offer from somewhere where he is allowed to perform more effectively without having to struggle with vendors? I can bet you that he must have had a hard time at Proton, at one point even resorting to a quality control campaign that urged the public to contact him directly to report any issues. I am quite sad to hear this possibility that he may not be around to launch the new Proton MPV.

When Syed Zainal was appointed as managing director, Datuk Kamarulzaman Darus was appointed as director of manufacturing. Kamarulzaman has already left Proton to become Naza’s director of manufacturing.

Both Tan Sri Abdul Rahman and Syed Zainal has one thing in common – they both used to hold top positions in Perodua, with Syed Zainal previously holding the executive director post at Perodua. Will Tan Sri Abdul Rahman be the new man at the helm of Proton?