Mediacorp names Debra Soon as chief customer officer as Chang Long Jong exits

Mediacorp’s deputy CEO and chief customer officer Chang Long Jong (pictured right) has stepped down from his role. He has been with the media organisation for more than 30 years.

According to an internal memo seen by Marketing, a replacement will not be named for his deputy CEO role. Meanwhile, Debra Soon (pictured left), head of the family (English) and premier segments will take on the role as chief customer officer.

When reached out by Marketing, a Mediacorp spokesperson confirmed the changes.

On the internal memo, Shaun Seow, CEO of Mediacorp said that he has worked closely with Chang over the last five years. He added that in the last few years, Chang worked "tirelessly" to help the "next generation of leaders" build new businesses for Mediacorp.

"Many of our colleagues have also benefitted from his generous guidance and calm coaching. [...] His hard work and significant contributions will have a lasting impact,” Seow said. He added that Soon, who is widely remembered as a top journalist in her early career, has been groomed for higher responsibilities in recent years.

“I’m glad she has risen to the challenge and made a successful switch from the factual to the fictional side of the house. Soon’s mix of strategic vision, passion and customer-centricity makes her the natural choice for the role of chief customer officer,” Seow added.

Soon added, "The media industry is always exciting and in constant flux – this company has to be at the forefront of those changes and rise to new challenges. I will do my best to ensure our customer segments and platforms work together to deliver a great experience for our audiences, clients and partners.”

Meanwhile, Chang added,

“Under Seow’s strong leadership, Mediacorp is reinventing itself to stay relevant to today’s audiences and I am privileged to have helped steer the transformation with him. Moving forward, I have complete confidence in Soon’s ability to lead the Customer Group and deliver results that matter to our clients."

Most recently, Mediacorp hired former CEO of the South China Morning Post, Robin Hu as a director on its board. This is in addition to the appointment of Niam Chiang Meng, Rajesh Sreenivasan and Roy Quek who joined as directors as well. In 2014, it also built up its operations hiring industry heavy-weight  Jack Lim as chief commercial officer to oversee all commercial relationships and fulfilment, including advertising sales, go-to-market partnerships and creative services.

In 2015, Mediacorp announced a major reorganisation, moving away from traditional media lines towards a focus on specific consumer groups. The main changes were in the customer group, one of five groups in the organisation. MediaCorp’s business portfolio, comprising over 50 products, will be managed by teams focused on the following consumer segments: Family, News, Youth, Parents, Women, Men, Malay, Indian, Foodies, Learners, Live Entertainment and Premier.

In April 2015, Mediacorp also redeployed over 50 employees to what it called “growth areas” and removed existing vacancies, according to reports on ChannelNews Asia and Today, both publications owned by Mediacorp.