Charles “Chip” Goodyear is walking away from an agreement to become CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund with S$127 billion (US$88 billion) in assets, according to a news release from Temasek.
Ho Ching, current CEO and the wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will continue as CEO.
Mr. Goodyear, who would have been the first non-Singaporean to serve in the post, became CEO-designate on March 1 and was due to take over Oct. 1. But the Temasek board of directors and Mr. Goodyear “concluded … that there are differences regarding certain strategic issues that could not be resolved,” according to the release. He and Temasek will terminate the agreement effective Aug. 15.
The announcement came as a surprise to sources familiar with the matter. They pointed to the political pressure building up in the Singapore Parliament as a possible reason for Mr. Goodyear's departure. Earlier this year, several members of Parliament voiced concern that their national interest may be jeopardized if Temasek had a non-Singaporean CEO.
Mr. Goodyear, former CEO of BHP Billiton, was born in the U.S. and received an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.