Ma will be responsible for the financial performance and strategic direction of all present and future subsidiaries and associated companies of the group.

Ma, who will join the Executive Committee of PCCW,  has a strong background in the finance and securities industries. 

"I am pleased and gratified to joining PCCW's dynamic and forward-looking management team," Ma says of his new position. "I anticipate an exhilarating challenge as we seek to boost the company's penetration and image, making it a truly integrated global communications operation."

To enable PCCW to secure the services of MA at the earliest possible opportunity, PCCW's executive chairman, Richard Li, arranged the transfer to a company beneficially owned by Ma and his spouse of 7,749,000 PCCW shares by Pacific Century Group Holdings Ltd, a company which is 100%-owned by Li. No new shares were issued by PCCW, and PCCW did not bear any portion of the cost of the shares that were transferred to Ma. His position was effective as of yesterday (Wednesday).

Prior to JPMorgan, Ma held a variety of positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, investment firm Pitfield Mackay Ross and Co., RBC Dominion Securities International Inc. and Kumagai Gumi (HK) Ltd (now known as Hong Kong Construction [Holdings] Limited).

Commenting on Ma's appointment, PCCW's deputy chairman, Francis Yuen, says: "Fred has worked all over the world and acquired a vast range of professional skills.

"As such, he brings a global perspective and understanding of international finance markets, currencies and the increasing demands and pace of globalization to PCCW. We look forward to having him on board."