Letter to Editor

2 weeks ago

The Star Media Group (SMG) has just reported a loss of RM30.9million for the first half of 2020 and with just three months to go before the year ends, it does look bleak.

Of course, the bad financial loss was buried in the small news report of The Star’s business page.

What is worse is that since July, when then CEO Andreas Vogiatzakis left after just 8 months, there is still no replacement.

There was no way Andreas could have survived in the politically charged corporate culture at SMG. What more a foreigner!

The company continues to be run by a three man committee headed by its chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.

It is well known within SMG and the media industry that one sore point has been the alleged interference by Fu although he is a non executive.

…. There was no way Andreas could have survived in the politically charged corporate culture at SMG. What more a foreigner! The company continues to be run by a three man committee headed by its chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow…

Staff has complained openly and also to the owner, the MCA, but to no avail. There will be no good CEO candidate if this toxic culture continues.

It is said that long time staff Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai chose to retire after serving as MD/CEO for six years because of the situation at SMG. He continues as the Group Advisor after serving 36 years in the company but even his fate remains in limbo as his contract ends soon.

The young platform, R.AGE is also shaky as for some reasons only best known to Fu, he wants to shut it down despite its strong award-winning digital and video content.

SMG insiders said a mutual separation exercise was carried out recently but received poor response as most staff felt the 0.5 a month offer for every year in service was a bad deal.

It looks like a retrenchment exercise is most likely, following the snub by SMG staff but the payment could be higher. The share price has remained stable despite the poor financial report because shareholders expect a good dividend with the general election ahead.

The GE is expected to be held by early 2021. As in past GEs, SMG gives out good dividends. The saving grace is SMG’s RM300million current cash with no loans to service, but it will be burn fast as money is needed for acquisitions. RM300mil is really not much.

As SMG turns 50 years next year, it is sad that there is really nothing much to celebrate.

By Retired Staff
Klang, Selangor

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