UMG names Calvin Wong CEO of Southeast Asia operation

UMG names Calvin Wong CEO of Southeast Asia operation

Universal Music Group has appointed Calvin Wong to the newly-created position of CEO, Southeast Asia & SVP, Asia.

The appointment has been made alongside a strategic expansion of operations and infrastructure within Singapore, which will become the main headquarters for UMG activity within the region.

Wong joins UMG from Warner Music Group, where he most recently held the position of president, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Korea and EVP, marketing. Prior to joining Warner Music in 1998, Calvin held several regional positions at EMI.

In his new role, he will lead UMG’s regional operations across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indochina and will report to Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP, market development. He will be supported by executive teams within each territory: Kenny Ong (MD, Universal Music Malaysia, Singapore & Indochina); Ricky Ilacad (CEO, Universal Music Philippines); Wisnu Surjono (MD, Universal Music Indonesia); and Paul Sirisant (MD, Universal Music Thailand). Additionally, Wong will work closely with Granite to help manage operations across the entire region.

Wong will be joined in Singapore by a new executive leadership team, consisting of Elvin Eng (CFO, Southeast Asia & Korea) who will oversee the finance operations and strategy for Southeast Asian markets and Korea; Gus Henderson (head of new business and brands, Southeast Asia and Korea), who will lead new business and brand partnership efforts in Southeast Asia & Korea; and Sarah Ismail, who is promoted to marketing director, Southeast Asia and will lead marketing efforts across Southeast Asia. 

Eng, Henderson and Ismail will relocate from UMG’s Hong Kong office. In addition, Daniel Haugen returns to UMG as VP, business development and digital, having previously worked for Universal Music Norway as director, global digital business development and strategy. Aerae Eun has been appointed as HR Director, Southeast Asia & Korea and joins UMG from global technology company Criteo.

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.

Granite said: “I am thrilled to welcome Calvin to UMG. He brings with him unparalleled experience as an executive, marketer and business entrepreneur within the Asian music industry and will help provide strong leadership and support across each local domestic territory. 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.” 

Wong said: “I am delighted to join UMG at such an exciting time for music within the region. Over the past few years, Southeast Asia has undergone a period of huge digital transformation which has not only fueled market development but also helped create new commercial partners and creative opportunities for artists from throughout the region. I am excited to help reinforce UMG’s position as the market leader in talent and business development, digital innovation, partnerships and artist focused services. At a time where we are now seeing songs from around the world becoming global hits, the opportunity has never been better for Southeast Asian artists to reach new audiences around the world.” 

In addition, the team will work closely with Patsy Chan, SVO, business & legal affairs and Ang Kwee Tiang (KT Ang), SVP, Asia Public Policy, who will both remain based in Hong Kong.

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