“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”
– Ecclesiastes 3
Next year which is just a few months away marks my 15th year at Astro and my 60th on this planet. As they say time flies and the timing is right to transition my leadership role.
On 31 January 2023, I will have completed my term and will retire from my position as GCEO. As part of the succession plan, the Board has approved the appointment of Euan Smith as GCEO – Designate to ensure a smooth transition. Euan will take on the leadership role as GCEO on 1 Feb 2023. Please join me in congratulating Euan!
Given my experience I have been asked to take on the role as Advisor with focus on further strengthening and sustaining Astro’s pipeline of content to serve the Group’s businesses and platforms.
We already have in place a strong Exco and SLT to help steer our business for the future.
The challenges are aplenty as the media and entertainment industry globally undergoes seismic changes with Malaysia being no exception. Our complex demographics is a challenge but also an opportunity especially for local content.
In my close to a decade and half at Astro, I have been through the best of growth and the worse of decline, successes and failures.
There are many memorable achievements with Team Astro, from the introduction of HD, freemium multichannel NJOI TV, the Ultra interactive experience, raising the stature of Astro’s own content – from Signatures, to drama, Astro Originals, launching and growing Astro’s education brand Tutor TV to its 5mil reach, to Astro First, Malaysia’s largest in-home cinema.
Our north star has always been to stay ahead of the content curve rather than be followers and that has helped us achieve success.
We pioneered Korean content aggregation and partnerships, launched eGG, first eSports channel in the region, Awani which is now Malaysia’s most trusted news brand, Arena, the first local sports channel in the region, MeleTop and its massive spin off Anugerah MeleTop Era, pre-schoolers’ beloved animation Didi & Friends and our content 360 strategy which drove record breaking social engagement across Gempak, Xuan, Ulagam and Syok all of which changed audience perception and cemented Astro’s position as the entertainment destination for Malaysians.
I hope your spirit of innovation will continue and will transform the business at a rate that will outpace the constant disruption.
Having spent much of my time in content I would like to give a special shout out to the people who dreamed, ideated, wrote, created, produced and shot, edited, aggregated and promoted content that had our customers glued to Astro for four hours every day.
Together we doubled Astro’s viewership share to highs unmatched by any other PayTV operator, grew our ad revenues, achieved record high radio listenership across all languages, uplifted and made winning local productions – from Gegarvaganza, Maharajah Lawak, Huahee, Oh!My English, SMK, Evening Edition, Classic Golden Melody, Surihati Mr Pilot, Projek Anchor SPM, The House to Tamiletchumy and Superstar.
We transformed the anaemic local movie industry to become a box office of heavy hitters. Notable game changers were The Journey, Ola Bola, Polis Evo, Paskal, Hantu Kak Limah, The Gardens of the Evening Mist with each playing a role to set aflight the “Malaysia Boleh” spirit!
I would like to thank our Board members past and present, for their input, guidance and critique which have made us stronger.
To all at Astro, thank you for your dedication. Continue to be brave and reinvent. Enjoy the good times and keep pushing through the rough patches. They will pass.
Thank you for all your support and wishing you well.
See you in action!
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