Two senior executives at Grab fintech unit leave

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Two senior executives at Grab fintech unit leave

SINGAPORE - Two top executives at Grab Holdings' fintech business have left, adding to other senior departures in recent months, as the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery firm rejigs the key unit at the loss-making group, two sources said.

Chris Yeo, who heads Grab's payments and rewards business and has been with the company for nearly six years, will leave with Jeffrey Goh, who leads the payments gateway business, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Both Yeo and Goh worked at Grab Financial Group's GrabFin unit which provides digital payments, financing, insurance, rewards, and wealth management services, and is an important plank of Grab's regional growth strategy.

The latest executive departure came as Grab's losses rose to $3.6 billion in 2021 from $2.7 billion a year earlier, while revenue rose 44%, with investors focused on how the firm plans to stem losses.

In the first quarter, Grab narrowed its losses.

Since listing on Nasdaq in December after a record $40 billion merger with a blank check firm, Grab's shares have shed three-quarters of their value against a backdrop of plunging tech stocks and continued losses.

One of the sources said that many business groups within GrabFin have been put on notice with significant performance metrics. There is an intense focus on getting to profitability. The sources, who were not allowed to speak to the media, said that the managing directors at Grab, which counts SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund and Uber, are serving notice periods, as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The news of their exits and the rejig at GrabFin has never been made public before.

The departures at GrabFin came a month after Grab's head of lending, former banker Ankur Mehrotra, who played a key role in the fintech unit's expansion, left after a six-year stint.

One of Grab's senior tech executives left the company to run a cripto-gaming firm this year, while Grab's head of insurance and wealth left to start a new company.

Grab didn't say anything about the executives' departures. There was no immediate response from Yeo and Goh to a Reuters query.

In an email to Reuters, Grab said it was focused on expanding its regional fintech ecosystem and saw significant opportunities in Southeast Asia across all of its businesses.

It said its country teams would lead its fintech operations.

Grab forecast a rebound in its mainstay ride-share and food delivery businesses last week as Southeast Asian economies recover from a Pandemic-led slump.

Grab was driving towards profitability through disciplined cost management, according to Anthony Tan, Grab's co-founder and CEO.

The sources said that GrabFin was streamlining its regional and country teams with a view to focus on lucrative areas. One of the sources said the company was trying to cut losses in the many areas that GrabFin operated in.

More than five million registered drivers and two million-plus merchants are on the platform, according to Grab, which operates in 480 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia. The company sees GFG as a business with huge growth potential.

Grab's regional digital banking business, which includes a joint venture in Singapore and Malaysia, is part of GFG. This year, Grab acquired a minority stake in an Indonesian bank.