SINGAPORE: Mediacorp on Thursday (Apr 21) announced the appointment of Ernest Wong as a board director and its Chairman-Designate. Mr Wong served as Mediacorp’s Group Chief Executive Officer and board director from October 2000 to September 2005. Prior to that, he was a non-executive director of its board from April 1994 to September 2000. Mr Wong will assume the position of Chairman at Mediacorp’s Annual General Meeting in July 2016, succeeding Teo Ming Kian.
“Ernest is best suited to take over as Chairman of Mediacorp,” said Mr Teo. “His past experience as CEO and director of the company – especially in driving crucial decisions during some challenging years – places him well to guide the Management in navigating an increasingly complex media landscape. I am sure that Mediacorp will continue to thrive under Ernest’s stewardship.”
A veteran banker since 1972, Mr Wong was United Overseas Bank Group President and board member from 1990 to 2000 when he left to join Mediacorp as its Group CEO. Before 1972, he worked for five years with Singapore’s Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Finance. Currently, Mr Wong chairs Temasek Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiary, Fullerton Financial Holdings, which invests in and operates financial institutions in emerging markets. He is a board member of Pavilion Capital Holdings and commissioner of PT Bank Danamon Indonesia. Outside of the financial sector, Mr Wong chairs A Menarini Asia-Pacific and is a Trustee of the NTU Board of Trustees and Chairman of its Investment Committee.
“I am honoured to assume chairmanship of Mediacorp, one of Singapore’s very essential organisations,” said Mr Wong. “While the media landscape has changed dramatically since I helmed the company as its Group CEO, what remains constant is the commitment of the Mediacorp team to excellence and active engagement with audiences and the community. I want to thank Ming Kian for his invaluable and lasting contributions as Chairman. Under his able leadership, Mediacorp embarked on an intensive transformation journey and created tremendous opportunities for its continued growth and success.”
With Mr Teo helming the board, Mediacorp broke down traditional silos and cultivated a Whole of Mediacorp (WOM) mindset to better engage, entertain and enrich its audiences. He instilled a culture of innovation across the company and nurtured intrapreneurship, encouraging risk-taking and innovation among its employees. With Mr Teo’s guidance, Mediacorp embarked on The Mediapreneur incubator programme, nurturing 10 start-ups that potentially offer a strategic fit with Mediacorp’s businesses in the face of disruptive technologies and business models. The company also entered a new chapter of business expansion, investing in a majority equity stake in KapanLagi Network (KLN), one of Indonesia’s largest digital media companies. Over the last year, Mediacorp accelerated its digital transformation, quadrupling viewership of its over-the-top service, Toggle.
Mr Teo was responsible for creating a vision of a new home for Mediacorp and bringing that vision to reality. Mediacorp Campus, a purpose-built 12-storey facility officially opened by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will house nearly all of Mediacorp’s 2,800 staff in a single location. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art production and digital broadcast facilities which include a digital-first, integrated newsroom, four entertainment studios and a 1,500-seat performing arts theatre. The open design of the building provides unprecedented opportunities to drive collaboration, knowledge-sharing and creativity among staff as well as for the public to get close to and develop a more engaged relationship with the company.
Mr Teo will have served as Mediacorp’s Chairman for three terms totalling six years when he steps down in July 2016.