IBM Singapore director splits for start-up

Big Blue has lost Singapore managing director Ang Miah Boon to an Internet start-up, in the latest in a string of departures in the region for potentially greener pastures.

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SINGAPORE--IBM has lost Singapore managing director Ang Miah Boon to an Internet start-up.

"This is one of the most serious brain drains from IBM in recent years," said a source.

An IBM spokesperson confirmed that Ang has left. The spokesperson also said that Ong Hoon Meng will fill in Ang's position.

Another senior executive is believed to have resigned too. However, the spokesperson could not confirm the second resignation. According to sources, the senior executive handles business from the public sector here and is serving his notice. He is expected to join a local Internet firm next month, the report said.

Sources also said Ang is believed to be joining a U.S.-based e-commerce firm. The company is said to be interested in expanding its operations to Asia. It has offices in Europe and Australia and serves more than 500 Internet and Fortune 500 companies including BMW, CBS Broadcasting and FedEx.

Ang declined to confirm or deny that he or the other senior executive have resigned. "Announcements on high-level departures--if there is to be one--will be made by IBM corporate affairs," Ang said.

Ang began his career with IBM in 1969. He became managing director of IBM Singapore in September 1998 and grew the local office to become the region's headquarters.

Recently, there has been a spate of resignations from senior executives to join Internet companies, not only in Singapore but in other Asian countries.

Last Friday, StarHub Internet general manager Tan Tong Hai left the company. In January, Compaq Computer Malaysia managing director Cheam Tat-Inn left to join Silicon Valley-based Arcadian Wireless as its head of Asia Pacific operations.