Singaporean Robin Hu remains at the helm of the media company to which the South China Morning Post (SCMP) belongs, under a new owner and with a new name.
The sale of the 113-year-old Hong Kong newspaper by Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok's Kerry Group to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Alibaba Group was completed last Tuesday. That same day, it took down its digital paywall, making its online content free for all readers.
Together with other assets, such as magazines and outdoor media, the media company now under Alibaba is called SCMP Publisher Limited. Previously, it was under the SCMP Group, part of the Kerry Group. The SCMP Group will be renamed Armada Limited.
In an e-mail to The Straits Times, Mr Hu confirms that he is still in charge of the SCMP media business.
He explains that Alibaba had bought the media assets from Mr Kuok's Kerry Group but not the listed company shell and its remaining property portfolio. "I remain as CEO of SCMP Publisher Ltd, which now holds all media assets previously owned by the SCMP Group, listed on HKEX, of which I was CEO prior to the deal completion."
In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last night, SCMP Group chairman David Pang announced that Mr Hu "has ceased to be the chief executive officer of the company" following completion of the firm's disposal of its media assets. "Mr Hu has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the board and there are no matters in relation to the cessation of his role as chief executive officer that need to be brought to the attention of the company's shareholders."
Mr Pang added that the board wants to express its thanks and appreciation to Mr Hu for his contribution to the company during his tenure of office. It will make further announcements relating to changes to the company's senior management team in due course.
Mr Hu became SCMP CEO in July 2012. He previously was senior executive vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings overseeing the Chinese newspapers division.