Astro group CEO Rohana Rozhan steps down

Astro's group CEO Dato Rohana Rozhan (pictured) has resigned. According to a Bursa filing, she will leave the company to pursue other goals and her resignation is effective 31 January 2019. Replacing her is Henry Tan, current group chief content and consumer officer, who has been with Astro for over 10 years.

During her tenure as CEO, Astro’s customer base grew from 2.0 million to 5.5 million, whilst revenue grew RM1.79 billion to RM5.53 billion for the financial year ended 31 January 2018. She joined the group in 1995.

“Dato’ Rohana has been an inspirational leader to all at Astro, having led the team in setting many firsts and milestones for the media industry in Malaysia. We respect her decision to step down as group CEO and wish her all the very best and a bright future ahead,” Tun Zaki Azmi, chairman of Astro, said.

Meanwhile, a recent media report on The Star, which quoted technology portal, said that the data of 60,000 Astro IPTV consumers were sold online either at RM4,500 for 10,000 records or RM0.45 per record. The details included names, installation address, identity card number, mobile phone number and subscribed package information.

In a statement to A+M, Astro said the management of IPTV customers is a "joint responsibility" between Astro and its telco partner Maxis Broadband. In this case, the data breach is only related to IPTV customers "provisioned by" Maxis and no other customers are affected. It also confirmed that no customer financial data was disclosed and it is working closely with the authorities to address the issue.

"Astro was made aware of this incident on 26 January 2018. On the same date we sought assistance from Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and had the search engine provider remove the link. All trace of customer data online was immediately removed. Subsequently, Astro lodged a police report on 8 February 2018," the spokesperson added.

As the data has resurfaced, Maxis was "promptly request" to assist with the investigation and Astro lodged a second police report yesterday. It also informed MCMC and will lodge a report to the Department of Personal Data Protection, the spokesperson said.

Protecting consumer data is of "utmost importance" to the company and it has complied with all data protection protocols and obligations, the spokesperson said to A+M, adding that it has also revalidated all security measures and confirm they are intact. Astro is also collaborating with Maxis to carry out additional forensic investigation.

The company will provide an update once it receives more information from the authorities. In the meantime, Astro's spokesperson said it will remain vigilant in its data protection efforts.

Astro 'encouraged by' growth of new revenue streams

Astro recently posted a revenue of RM1.31 billion for the first quarter of the financial year ended 31 January 2019. Its ad expenditure grew by 6% year-on-year (yoy) to RM151 million, while its number of customers increased by 6% yoy to 5.5 million. Meanwhile, its Go Shop revenue witnessed a 35% increase yoy to RM84 million.

Its TV ad expenditure had a 17% increase yoy to RM83 million, while Go Shop had a 35% yoy revenue increase to RM84 million, spurred by its growing base of customers in Malaysia and Singapore. This was due to its dynamic product mix, analytics driven campaigns and innovative show formats. Meanwhile, other grown engines for Astro - production, theatrical and talent - have collectively grown from RM10 million to RM20 million yoy.

Dato Rohana said the company is "encouraged by" the growth of relatively new revenue streams such as commerce and Go Shop, NJOI prepaid and digital ad expenditure. She said Astro is developing "deep" customer personas and data analytics to drive increased immersion and personalisation across its media assets, as well as rationalising cost benefit of spent to address the potential wallet and advertisers for each customer persona.

While focused on its strategic priorities, Astro remains committed to its digital first transformation initiatives and a razor focus on cost management. This has created headroom for it to reinvest into creating more local and Nusantara content IPs that will underpin its Pay TV viewership and its over-the-top (OTT) video service Tribe’s regional expansion.

Tribe continues to grow in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore by forging complementary win-win partnerships in the region. In April, Tribe started to offer its content as part of Indonesia-based Telkomsel’s bundled video streaming product, giving Tribe the opportunity to tap into Telkomsel’s strong customer base.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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