Universal Music Group names SEA CEO and new leadership team in SG

Music entertainment leader Universal Music Group (UMG) has appointed Calvin Wong to the newly created position of CEO, Southeast Asia & SVP, Asia, effective immediately. The appointment comes alongside a strategic expansion of operations and infrastructure within Singapore, which will become the main headquarters for UMG activity within the region.

In his new role, he will lead UMG’s regional operations across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Indochina and will report to Adam Granite, UMG’s executive vice president, market development.
Wong, who was most recently the president, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Korea and EVP, marketing at Warner Music Group, brings with him more than 30 years of experience within the Asian music industry. Prior to joining Warner Music in 1998, Wong held several regional positions at EMI.

Calvin Wong said in a press release that the opportunity has “never been better” for Southeast Asian artists to reach new audiences around the world at a time when songs from around the world are increasingly seen becoming global hits. On the back of this, he aims to help reinforce UMG’s position as the market leader in talent and business development, digital innovation, partnerships and artist focused services. He added,

Southeast Asia has undergone a period of huge digital transformation over the past few years, which has not only fuelled market development but also helped create new commercial partners and creative opportunities for artists.

New senior management

Besides being supported by executive teams within each territory, Wong will also be joined in Singapore by a new executive leadership team. Among the members include Sarah Ismail who has been promoted from regional marketing manager to marketing director, Southeast Asia, and will be relocating from UMG’s Hong Kong office. Ismail, who will lead marketing efforts across Southeast Asia, has held several regional marketing roles within UMG since 2010.

Others in the executive leadership team are Elvin Eng (CFO, Southeast Asia & Korea); Gus Henderson (Head of New Business and Brands, Southeast Asia and Korea), Daniel Haugen (VP, Business Development and Digital); and Aerae Eun (HR Director, Southeast Asia & Korea.

“These new additions to our senior management team show our ambition to attract new domestic talent, expand the boundaries of commercial success for our recording artists, labels and other businesses within the region and to amplify opportunities for local and international artists to reach new fans around the world,” said Granite.

According to the press release, through the strategic initiatives and appointments, UMG is accelerating the company’s focus on growing the entire music ecosystem including recorded music, music publishing, production, live events, brand partnerships and merchandising efforts throughout the region.