Pic source: firstclasse.com.my
“Sad but true, this event has all the elements of a Greek Tragedy.”
Andreas Vogiatzakis (his last name is pronounced voh-ya-zaki) has resigned as Star Media Group’s CEO after nine months on the job.
After almost six months without a Group Chief Executive officer (CEO), Star Media Group Bhd (SMG) appointed Andreas to fill the post on 13 August last year.
In 2003, Andreas (a 53-year old native of Greece who has adopted Malaysia as his homeland) moved to Taiwan as the CEO of the MindShare Group and in October 2016, he relocated to Malaysia to lead Omnicom Media Group. Later he became CEO of Havas Media Group Bhd.
Andreas began his career at advertising agency DMB&B in New York, US and then he joined JWT in Athens, Greece before heading to Asia. In 1997, he launched and ran MediaVest Japan, later merging it with Starcom, with a short stint in between as Wieden & Kennedy’s Media Director for Nike, Uniqlo and Ben & Jerry’s.
Earlier this month, Malaysian media organisations stood together and reached out to the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) to compel tech giants such as Google and Facebook to pay for their news content.
“In an era where intellectual property mattered the most, it was only fair that media sources were compensated accordingly and appropriately when the news and information generated by them were used for profits by third parties,” Andreas said.
Associate Professor and former Star Journalist M. Krishnamoorthy* observed, “Leading SMG was a tough call in the wake of the changing media landscape and waning Adex. Hence, not much in terms of innovative media products and services were introduced in his 9-month tenure. Under the Movement Control Order (MCO), the management got even more tough as advertisers pulled out. Advertising agencies experienced a tough time recovering debts owed by clients, thus disrupting Star’s cash flow. I wish Andreas well in the advertising media landscape where he is a true industry leader.”
“Andreas’ relentless passion for the Star business was quite visible. It was never expected to be an easy role, but he brought tremendous energy, tenacity, flexibility and empathy to his job. My sense is when he took over, Star Media Group was a company reeling from the negativity of all the downsizing. He seems to have infused new positive energy into it. He led from the front and seemed to become the posterboy of hope,” adds Prashant Kumar, Founder & Senior Partner of ENTROPIA.
In a Bursa Malaysia filing, it was reported that Andreas has quit to pursue new interests.
Star Media Group Bhd (SMG) will be temporarily headed by a three-man special committee comprising three non-executive directors of the company, namely Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, Datuk Dr Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Rouse and Chan Seng Fatt.
*Ed’s Note: Media veteran Krishnamoorthy is a very vocal shareholder of the Star Media Group. He recently concluded teaching stints with Xiamen and HELP Universities after four years.