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Honestbee CEO Joel Sng steps down, replaced by Brian Koo

Janet Ong
Finance Editor
Photo: Honestbee

SINGAPORE — The co-founder of Honestbee Joel Sng is stepping down as its chief executive officer as the grocery and delivery start-up continues to face tough challenges and cost pressures.

In a statement, Honestbee said Brian Koo is replacing Sng as the company’s interim CEO.

The changes, which are effective on Thursday (2 May), are part of the company’s ongoing strategic review to “stay relevant in today’s rapidly-changing business environment”, Honestbee said.

Koo said, “I will be working with the executive team to conduct an in-depth review of our business to focus and align our strategic interests across our various geographies and verticals, and take the opportunity to articulate a clear vision for the future of Honestbee.”

The grandson of the founder of Korean conglomerate LG, Koo is listed as a shareholder for both of Honestbee’s ventures registered in Singapore, according to a TechCrunch report on Tuesday. His Formation 8 venture capital firm has provided significant funding for the startup.

Honestbee has announced a series of cost-cutting measures that will see it temporarily cease business in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines while it conducts a review, the TechCrunch report said. It has stopped offering food delivery in Thailand and Hong Kong.

In recent weeks, the company has held acquisition talks with technology firm Grab, ride-hailing app GoJek and others, the report added.

Founded in 2015, Honestbee operates in eight markets across Asia — Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan.

Based in Singapore, Honestbee operates a 60,000 square feet flagship store called habitat by honestbee in the market.