New team takes charge at honestbee as co-founder Joel Sng steps down

A new management team has been put in place at honestbee following the exit of its CEO and co-founder Joel Sng. In response to a query from Mumbrella, honestbee confirmed that its vice president of marketing Christina Lim was still with the company. Lim had moved last July from Dentsu Singapore where she was managing director.

The new team put in place by interim-CEO Brian Koo included people already within the honestbee system including Roger Koh as chief financial officer, Victor Chow as chief operating officer, Jonathan Low as chief technology officer and Varian Lim as chief of staff.

Sng’s exit comes during a turbulent time for honestbee during which it has had to significantly scale back or wind down some of its Asian operations, reportedly due to a paucity of funds.

The company had announced earlier this week that it would be cutting 10% of its global headcount, halting services in Hong Kong and Indonesia and winding down its food vertical in Thailand. It also said that it would be temporarily suspending operations in Japan and the Philippines.

The new management team was put in place on May 2 headed by Koo the founder and CEO of venture capital firm Formation Group and part of the family that owns Korean chaebol LG.

According to a fact sheet on the honestbee website, the company previously worked with 10,900 restaurant partners and over 20,000 “partner bees” – delivery and shopper associates. It had operations in 16 cities across eight countries.

Joel Sng

In a statement from a company spokesperson, Honestbee said: “As part of an ongoing strategic review of our business, there have been changes to the leadership team at honestbee. Co-founder Joel Sng, is stepping down as CEO, and will be replaced by Brian Koo with effect from 2 May 2019.

“In 2015, honestbee was founded in Singapore with the mission of providing positive social and financial impact on the lives and businesses that we touch. Brian will bring his passion for our mission to his new role.

“He will take the lead and work with the current team to ensure that honestbee is in the best possible position to support the business in Singapore and other geographies going forward.”

Commenting on his departure, Sng said: “Brian has been our earliest supporter and a key investor. He was also instrumental in helping us define honestbee’s purpose and mission from day one.

“I am confident that he would be able to bring the company to the next level, supported by the newly-appointed executive team comprising key leaders of our organisation.”

Brian Koo

Interim-CEO Koo added: “I would like to express my appreciation for Joel, as he steps away from his current role, for taking honestbee from zero to one.

“I will be working with the executive team to conduct an in-depth review of our business to focus and align our strategic interests across our various geographies and verticals, and take the opportunity to articulate a clear vision for the future of honestbee.”


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