Datuk Kamal named Media Prima's group MD amid management shake-up

Media Prima has appointed Datuk Kamal Khalid (pictured), currently CEO of Media Prima Television Networks (MPTN), as the group’s new managing director effective 2 August 2017. Khalid will replace Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin, who has been re-designated as executive director effective 1 August.

In addition to his duties, Khalid has also been named the group chief operating officer of Media Prima. He has been with the group since 2009, and was said to play a key role in MPTN’s digital transformation and business expansion initiatives, according to the company. Meanwhile, Tan Sri Ismee Ismail will replace Datuk Seri FD Iskandar as chairman of Media Prima, effective 1 August 2017.

The major management shake-up at Malaysia’s largest integrated media group comes at back of months of speculation, with the struggling organisation now focusing more on digital initiatives, instead of depending on traditional media revenue.

The media conglomerate saw a dip in its traditional revenue streams, and reported a 10% drop in revenue compared to Q1 2016 in February this year. This was primarily due to the lower advertising and newspaper sales amid challenges faced on its traditional media platforms along with a shift to digital media.

Following that, in May, Media Prima shared that its key transformation road map is aimed at reinventing the media group into a digital first commerce company. The road map is expected to benefit the group, given the changes in media consumption amongst consumers and challenges faced by media industry as a whole, Media Prima said.

The media company added it wants to grow its digital and non-traditional revenue streams through strategic business initiatives created to enable new revenue streams and put the focus back into its advertising revenue. The inflow of revenue is expected to come from its platforms such as home shopping platform CJ Wow Shop; mobile gaming and digital lifestyle app tonton; and its most recent acquisition of REV Asia Holdings in May this year.

The buyout of 100% of REV Asia Holdings, one of Southeast Asia’s leading digital media groups which cost RM105.0 million, will focus on expansion in digital content and digital media platforms. It will also see the group’s digital platform audience reach up to 10.4 million, making it the third largest digital media company in Malaysia after Google and Facebook, Media Prima said. The group added that it will be relying on the new addition to further boost its revenue via digital advertising.

Circling back to the board shake-up, the latest move will also see current group general manager of group finance and secretarial, Farnida Ngah, appointed as its group chief financial officer effective 2 August 2017, succeeding Mohamad Ariff.

Ariff would step down from his position effective 1 August 2017, but will remain with Media Prima as director at the group managing director’s office until 31 December 2017 to “assist the senior management team in executing the group’s Odyssey 2.0 business transformation efforts".

“Datuk Seri Amrin and Ariff had earlier informed the Media Prima board of directors of their intentions to step down from their current posts to pursue new challenges outside the group. It was their personal decisions and the board had accepted their requests upon consideration of their contributions to Media Prima,” Media Prima said in a statement, adding they had both served with the organisation cumulatively for 16 and 19 years respectively.