Media icon Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai’s tenure as Advisor has been extended by the company’s board.
The board of directors, which met on Wednesday, backdated his contract to Jan 1, 2021.
It is understood that Wong’s two year term, which ended on Jan 1, was left uncertain during the term of chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.
Fu, however, tendered his sudden resignation on Feb 25, saying it was time to move way for a new leadership and to spend more time with his family. The 73 year old former MCA politician also said SMG has a talented and capable young staff to take the company to greater heights.
Fu has been replaced by Tan Sri Chor Chee Heung, a former Cabinet minister.
SMG insiders said the appointment of Chor and new Chief Executive Officer Alex Yeow will bring stability to SMG after seven years of leadership under the controversial Fu, which was often marred with staff dissatisfaction over alleged interference in company operations.
SMG sources said Yeow’s experiences in the property sector would be useful to unlock The Star’s land asset including its 14-storey tower in Section 13, Petaling Jaya as well as land in Shah Alam and Penang.
“HE IS THE GUY WHO CAN CALL UP AN OFFICIAL AT PUTRAJAYA AND GET US OUT OF TROUBLE.”
Analysts said they expected Yeow to focus his energy to find new sources of revenue away from the media.
One analyst said SMG should emulate media companies overseas which continued to maintain their media presence but looked elsewhere for revenue.
“Forget about advertisements and paywall subscriptions.
“Yeow has a tough job ahead, but he may be what SMG needs, a non media person with fresh perspectives, “ the analyst said.
Analysts said they were looking towards better investors relations and to hear what SMG has in mind.
He also noted that the share price of SMG has gone up, saying it reflected positive response from shareholders.
Meanwhile, the newsroom has welcomed the return of Wong into SMG, saying his experience and networking was an asset.
“He is the guy who can call up an official at Putrajaya and get us out of trouble.”
“Who else in SMG can deliver interviews with powerful Royalty and Ministers?
“So, with the general election looming, he will be of great help to his colleagues,” said an editor, who spoke on anonymity.