Iskandar Mizal to succeed Kamal Khalid as Media Prima's group MD

Media Prima has named Iskandar Mizal Mahmood group managing director, effective 1 April, replacing Kamal Khalid who is ending his tenure on 31 March. Iskandar (pictured left) joined Media Prima on 1 October 2019 as group executive director, assisting the group in its transformation and turnaround initiatives.

Kamal (pictured right) has served the group in multiple capacities since 2009. These include roles as CEO, Media Prima Television Networks; COO, group shared services; COO, business development; and international and head of content distribution. According to Media Prima, he played a pivotal role in completing the first phase of the group’s business transformation efforts, Odyssey, which focused on revenue diversification across three key areas — digital, commerce, and going beyond Malaysia.

Media Prima explained that the transformational initiatives offered the necessary foundation for corporate recovery moving forward. According to the company, it has contributed greater revenue to the group year-on-year. In 2019, Odyssey revenue reached RM318.0 million, contributing to 29% of the group’s total revenue compared to RM176.4 million or 15% of total revenue in 2017. The transformation efforts also saw Media Prima undertake a group-wide restructuring exercise to build a leaner and more agile company, better suited to navigate in today’s constantly changing media environment.

Kamal said he believes the time is right to pave the way for a new leadership team to build on the progress the group has made under phase one of Media Prima’s business transformation plan.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to work with our board and my colleagues, all of whom have contributed immensely to Media Prima’s success over the years. I would like to thank them for their support. I am indeed pleased to leave Media Prima knowing it has a strong management team to continue with its transformation. I wish them much success," he added.

Kamal also has confidence in the appointment of Iskandar, explaining that his leadership, depth of knowledge and existing relationship with the board and senior management will enable him to integrate seamlessly into the role. "I will do everything I can to assist during the transition period," Kamal said.

Meanwhile, Iskandar brings over 30 years of experience with a multitude of companies ranging from multinationals to government-linked companies, spanning from investment banking to the technology sector. He currently also serves on the boards of Theta Edge and Globetronics Technology. From April 2017 to January 2019, he served as the group CEO and a board member of Granatum Ventures, the holding company of Khazanah Nasional’s creative and media sector. Granatum Ventures has a portfolio of operations including Iskandar Malaysia Studios, content creation and content financing/investment.

According to the press statement, Iskandar played a key role in turning around the company and bringing international content production companies into Iskandar Malaysia Studios in 2018. He was one of the key figures in the production of Paskal The Movie, one of Malaysia’s highest grossing box office movies, where he was one of the executive producers. Iskandar also worked at Pos Malaysia, DRB-HICOM, Manipal Education Malaysia, and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation.

Syed Hussian Aljunid, group chairman of Media Prima, said Kamal has served Media Prima for almost 11 years, during which he "demonstrated immense dedication to lead the company during a very challenging period in Media Prima’s history". 

"Despite the increasingly fragmented and constantly evolving media landscape, Kamal provided invaluable guidance to the management team, launched several new business initiatives and worked closely with the Board to address the challenges while maintaining a high standard of governance. We wish him well in his future endeavours," he said.

Syed also said Iskandar is an experienced and talented leader who will go on to make substantial contributions to the group moving forward. Media Prima expects a seamless transition given Iskandar's knowledge of the media industry as well as having served Media Prima in the role of group executive director.

"We are confident that Iskandar will lead Media Prima to new levels of success moving forward. Equally important, the board believes that the appointment will provide continuity as the group forges ahead to transform Media Prima into a digital-first content and commerce company," Syed added.

The company witnessed an 11% dip in traditional advertising revenue and a 12% dip in circulation revenue for the financial year which ended on 31 December 2019 (FY19). This contributed to the 7% decline in revenue to RM1.1 billion for FY19 against the corresponding year.