Honestbee CEO Joel Sng to resign, grandson of Korean tech giant LG’s founder to take over

Honestbee’s current chief executive and co-founder Joel Sng is resigning from the company.

Grocery and delivery start-up Honestbee chief executive and co-founder Joel Sng will be resigning from the company, and Mr Brian Koo, whose family controls LG, one of South Korea’s largest companies, will be its interim CEO and board chairman.

Mr Sng sent an e-mail on Thursday (May 2) to employees announcing his intention to resign, The Straits Times has learnt. He wrote that it was time for him to “make way for someone who can bring our company to the next level”. He did not say when he would resign.

Mr Sng said that Honestbee needs a reset and to place greater focus on its customers, partners and contractors.

Mr Koo said in an e-mail to employees that he will be working with his executive team to conduct an in-depth review of the business.

He also announced his new team: Mr Roger Koh as chief financial officer, Mr Victor Chow as chief operating officer, Mr Jonathan Low as chief technology officer and Mr Varian Lim as chief of staff.

A TechCrunch report on Wednesday stated that Mr Sng had been fired from the start-up.

Citing “sources with knowledge of the matter”, the report noted that Mr Sng had cleared his desk and vacated his office on Tuesday.

But Mr Sng had allegedly decried the article to be fake news and he sent an e-mail to employees stating that he was not someone who will “leave the company to be rudderless”, according to Vulcan Post on Thursday.

“I am not an abandon ship person (sic),” Mr Sng had reportedly wrote, adding that “investors and board (members) are absolutely aligned on that”.

Mr Sng co-founded Honestbee with two partners Isaac Tay and Jonathan Low in 2015.

Mr Tay had left the company in 2018 while Mr Low is still working for Honestbee where he is vice-president of engineering, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

The developments add to the woes that Honestbee had been facing. A company spokesman said earlier this week that Honestbee is suspending some of its operations in Asia and cutting its global headcount by 10 per cent as part of its ongoing strategic review.

The home-grown company will be stopping its services in Hong Kong and Indonesia and its food business in Thailand, and temporarily suspending its operations in Japan and the Philippines.

The review was necessary to help the company focus and align its regional business, he added.

Earlier media reports had stated that Honestbee is running low on funds.

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