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New Spackman CEO sets sights on growing non-production revenue

CATALIST-LISTED South Korean entertainment producer Spackman Entertainment Group has named a new chief executive, more than a year after its founder stepped down from the post.

Ko Jihwan, who also goes by "John", takes over from Richard Lee. Mr Ko, 44, previously headed media investment and consulting firm Greenlight Content Co, which the company bought in November 2018.

He said that he planned "to boldly transform the group's existing business model such that we do not solely rely on producing one or two blockbuster movies per year", including boosting revenue with businesses outside film production that can still tap its artists' brands.

"With the new management appointments and restructuring, one of our main goals is to rejuvenate our depressed stock valuation and price," he added.

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Mr Ko's elevation took place on a day crammed with reshuffling at the top.

Na Kyoungwon, 43, chief financial officer since 2013, became chief operating officer and president, while Spackman Media Group senior manager Ng Siew Ling, 32, was promoted to group financial controller.

Head of investor relations Jasmine Leong, 31, continues in her role but is now also a general manager.

Executive director Jung Suk Young left to take on a new role, which Spackman said in a bourse filing is "in a new spin-off entity" linked to the proposed listing of certain company units.

Spackman non-executive chairman Anthony Wong said that the board believes the role of group CEO "now requires additional attributes and experience" to pull off its strategy of building a South Korean industry ecosystem and penetrating South-east Asia.

"Mr Ko's experience in the media sector, especially in drama production, can help further reinforce the group's capability of participating and investing in the highest-quality projects in both Korea and South-east Asia," he said in a statement.

Mr Ko's predecessor, Mr Lee, had been interim CEO since January 2018 - following the departure of Charles Spackman - and will continue as non-executive director.

Spackman, which recently guided for a net loss for the year to Dec 31, ended flat at S$0.025, before the latest announcements. Its unaudited results are slated for release by Feb 28.