Alphabet Media, publishers of FutureGov magazine and producer of the FutureGov series of events, has undergone a major management change with two of the company’s three senior managers abruptly exiting the business after being fired by group managing director, James Smith.
An internal email from Smith to Alphabet Media staff stated that Smith “sacked Mohit and Ellen”. Mohit Sagar was managing director for conferences and Ellen Quek was the company’s general manager. The reasons behind the terminations are unclear.
On Wednesday evening, Smith’s LinkedIn account ran the following message: “After four years I’m now taking over direct management of FutureGov’s Asian events business (probably should have done this earlier). As a result, Mohit Sagar & Ellen Quek have left their roles with the business.”
Marketing confirmed yesterday that Sagar and Quek had in fact left the company. Sagar was with Alphabet Media for over five years. Prior to this, he was head of sales for Asia & Middle East at Worldwide Business Research (WBR) for two years. Quek had been with Alphabet Media since late 2011 after roles with Fairfax Business Media and Questex Media.
Sagar and Quek’s next moves are unknown although a message from Quek made unsubstantiated allegations regarding unpaid “salary & commission owed to me for over two years”, monies “owed to CPF and the tax office” and numerous sponsorship cancellations. This follows other claims of unpaid and late staff payments including one former Alphabet Media staffer who successfully sued the company earlier this year.
Neither Smith, Sagar or Quek did not responded to numerous approaches by Marketing to comment, although a tweet posted by Smith today suggested that Sagar and Quek were not the company’s most senior members of staff.
Smith has since, in a public LinkedIn post, said: “It’s been quite an eventful week. I have just taken back responsibility for the Asian events team at FutureGov, which was one of the hats I wore from 2003-2011. Yes, this means Mohit Sagar and Ellen Quek have left the business. Our events this year simply weren’t good enough.”
The post further added: “I knew that there were issues in the Asian events side of the business – high staff turnover alone was a key indicator. But as I sat in the 11th annual FutureGov Summit in Kuala Lumpur in October, I suddenly realised that this was an event organised by a company with relationships but no content. Somehow we’d managed to ignore the wealth of government knowledge we’d built up since 2003 and turned into ‘just another events company’.”