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Steering Temasek

Charles Goodyear, chief executive–designate of Temasek Holdings, knows how to manage in hard times.

Charles (Chip) Goodyear, chief executive–designate of Temasek Holdings, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, knows how to manage in hard times. The former CEO of BHP Billiton joined the mining giant in 1999 on the heels of the Asian financial crisis, then tightened spending and rolled out an aggressive acquisition strategy that anticipated rising demand for raw materials from China. The 51-year-old former Kidder, Peabody & Co. investment banker will call on those same skills at Temasek when he takes the helm on October 1. The global economic crisis has pushed the fund’s assets down to $85 billion as of November 30, 2008, according to a statement by the Singapore government. Temasek had assets of $134 billion on March 31, 2008, its fiscal year-end. More than $7 billion in stakes in Merrill Lynch & Co. and Barclays Bank has also led to sizable unrealized losses. Goodyear is Temasek’s first foreign CEO. He succeeds Ho Ching, who is the wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and is stepping down after five years.