SPH CEO takes 10% pay cut, senior management takes 5%

SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung is taking a pay cut of 10% in show of solidarity with the nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. SPH's senior management staff will also see a 5% reduction in salary, while its board members will take a voluntary 10% pay cut in directors' fees. The cuts will be effective from April 2020 and will be reviewed at the end of the year, according to an SGX filing.

Ng said the global pandemic has affected its businesses and posed challenges to its stakeholders. According to him, the senior management and board members have volunteered the pay cuts to better position the company to ride out this difficult time with SPH's stakeholders. "This is on top of the assistance measures we have rolled out to employees affected by the crisis. We wil continue to practise prudence for business sustainability and look out for the right opportunities at the appropriate time for long term competitiveness," Ng added.

At the same time, SPH Foundation is also donating SG$100,000 to The Courage Fund to help families and individuals affected by the ongoing virus outbreak. The latest news comes after SPH pledged a donation of SG$15,000 to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Response by Singapore Red Cross to support international efforts to combat COVID-19. Meanwhile, SPH Chinese Media Group raised a total of SG$300,000 from donors through a live-streamed show. The company also tied up with Samsung to distribute its news tablets and digital subscriptions to patients and individuals who were isolated or quarantined in the hospitals and quarantine centres.

SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang said the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis has "severely impacted" the country's economic performance.

"SPH is not immune to the coronavirus' impact. The fee and pay cut is a gesture of the board and senior management team's resolve to navigate these difficult times together with our stakeholders. The donation by SPH Foundation is our contribution to help those at the frontline of the battle against the coronavirus," Lee added.

SPH follows a slew of other companies in Singapore that have seen their senior management take pay cuts due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The companies include Certis, BreadTalk, Genting Singapore, SingPost, and Singapore Airlines. Meanwhile, SP Group is reducing bonuses for its senior management team by one to two months, and cutting director fees.

Just yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and other political office holders, including the President, will take three-month pay cut in total, The Straits Times reported. This is an additional two more months on top of the one-month reduction first announced in February, in light of the virus outbreak.