Jobs to go at Turner as South East Asia operation moves from Hong Kong to Singapore

Broadcaster Turner Asia Pacific International is relocating its entire South East Asia team from Hong Kong resulting in several job losses.

The owner of international channels such as Cartoon Network, CNN and Warner Bros, has until recently handled all South East Asian-related operations from its APAC headquarters in Hong Kong.

However, earlier this year the company announced plans to create a centralised South East Asia division in Singapore, led by vice-president and general manager Vishal Dembla.

Turner’s lead for South East Asia, Vishal Dembla

Up to 40 people currently oversee the South East Asia region from Hong Kong. A third of them, the majority in managerial positions, are to relocate to Singapore.

The rest will either be moved to other divisions or let go, Turner confirmed. The company said they could not divulge specific numbers at this stage.

Turner’s corporate communications and marketing VP Gregory Ho said the move would not affect the APAC base.

The company has been moving away from Hong Kong for some time now. Last year, Turner announced that the children’s channel Cartoon Network was to downsize its regional creative services team in Hong Kong as part to localise the company across the region.

The work was outsourced to a Singapore-based production company Infinite Studios with some team members given the opportunity to relocate.

In 2013, the company embarked on a mass decentralisation process of its Hong Kong HQ, which led to 30 per cent cut in positions. The process led to a renewed focus on the three specific regions of South Asia, South East Asia Pacific and North Asia.

The creation of the new Singapore hub is intended to further centralise the South East Asia operation under one management and one P&L.

Speaking at the time of the announcement in February, Turner’s managing director of South East Asia Pacific and North Asia Phil Nelson said: “These changes will enable Turner to better develop its growing business in this region.”

Turner and 21st Century Fox remain among the last few international media firms to still be based in Hong Kong.


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