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Former ST editor calls out SPH Media for number of ex Accenture staff hired, SPH clarifies recruitment practice

Former ST editor calls out SPH Media for number of ex Accenture staff hired, SPH clarifies recruitment practice

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SPH Media has found itself in the spotlight once again after former Straits Times editor Leslie Fong called out the company for hiring a slew of former Accenture staff. In a Facebook post, Fong questioned if it was just a coincidence, naming the likes of the current CTO, CFO, head of circulation, head of corporate marketing and communications amongst others. Since then, SPH Media has sent out a memo, as seen by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, saying that it has hired 21 people for senior leadership positions since it was formed in 2021.

The memo detailed that it had hired three people directly from Accenture, while three others had worked at Accenture at some point in their careers before moving on to other companies. The 15 others came from other organisations.

Maureen Wee, head of human resources, added that the staff appointments came after “careful evaluation to ensure that each individual is able to contribute effectively”. Wee added that the organisation will continue to hire those with varied skills and different perspectives.

"Every member of the SPH Media family is valuable regardless of where they come from and how long they have been here. Everyone has a role to play as we navigate the future together," Wee added. 

Meanwhile, in 20222, SPH Media Group brought on board Accenture veteran Teo Lay Lim as CEO to overlook the transformation journey of SPH Media Group.

Teo started up Accenture’s Customer Relationship Management practice in 2000, and Accenture Analytics and Accenture Sustainability Services in 2008, when the practices were still emerging sectors. She also spent two years based in Shanghai to develop the CRM practice for Greater China, and was also chief executive of Accenture Southeast Asia from 2011 to 2020.

Safe to say, SPH media hasn’t had the easiest of times. Earlier this year the organisation was called out for inconsistencies in its circulation data in its subscription contracts.  While the spokesperson did not elaborate on further details, the  discrepancy was said to be 10 to 12% which is around 85,000 to 95,000 daily average copies across all titles. There was also double counting of subscriptions and destructed copies included in the count.

Circulation numbers have long been the basis of deciding the cost of ad space on publications. “As the organisation embarked on a new chapter, SPH Media initiated a review on internal processes in March 2022, including the reporting of circulation data.  Some inconsistencies in the reporting of the data were discovered, and we have immediately taken steps to strengthen processes. The staff involved [have] been taken to task, or [have] left the organisation,” said the spokesperson.

Related articles: 
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3 industry-wide ramifications post SPH Media's admission of circulation tampering
SPH Media chief sends out memo to adland trade partners clarifying rates

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