Grab, Uber’s archrival in Southeast Asia, is losing its first CFO just seven months after her appointment, the company confirmed.
Linda Hoglund joined Singapore-based Grab from video streaming company HOOQ in May, where she had also been CFO, but four-year-old Grab announced her departure internally as part of a reshuffle of its financial management team.
TechCrunch understands that Grab has appointed an interim CFO from within its own ranks, but it isn’t actively recruiting for a direct replacement. That’s because many of Hoglund’s responsibilities will be transferred to Grab President Ming Maa, who joined the company from Grab investor SoftBank in October, and transitioning to that new structure is the immediate priority. Hoglund will stay on for a couple of months to aid with that change.
Maa spent more than a decade in investment roles that included a stint with Goldman. As Grab president he is tasked with “managing the company’s overall capital structure,” among other responsibilities, according to a statement made at the time of his appointment.
Grab’s internal announcement of Hoglund’s departure said that she’d developed the company’s financial structure and process to enable it to scale further in the future. Her exit, it added, was on account of her desire to return to a more hands-on, operational role.
Her tenure was brief, but Hoglund’s time at Grab included its $750 million Series F round, which closed in September at a post-money valuation of $3 billion, and Didi Chuxing’s acquisition of Uber’s China business. That latter development impacted Grab in a number of ways: throwing uncertainty on its relationship with Didi and adding pressure as Uber increased its focus on Southeast Asia and other high-growth potential markets.
Grab was founded in 2012 and it operates in more than 30 cities in six countries across Southeast Asia. It claims some 24 million downloads and a pool of more than 500,000 drivers. The company has now raised over $1.4 billion and, like other ride-sharing operators worldwide, there’s a big question on its future exit, which could be an IPO in the future. If so, getting the necessary financial systems and structure in place is an important step, and that could well be one of the factors behind this reshuffle.
Hoglund’s isn’t the only C-level executive to have a shorter-than-expected stint with Grab. Former Facebook engineer Wei Zhu was Grab’s CTO and head of its $100 million R&D center in Singapore. He left his role in August 2015 after only a year and has been involved in a legal squabble with Grab over his stock options.