APP head of comms Randy Salim leaves as company hires SPRG for Singapore PR account

The head of global communications for Asia Pulp & Paper has left the company after less than two years.

Randy Salim

Jakarta-based Randy Salim, a former communications officer for the World Bank, is due to leave the Asian paper giant at the end of this month.

He originally joined the company in December 2015 following a stint at Penjaminan Infrastruktur, Indonesia. However, last month APP found itself embroiled in a PR crisis over an alleged lack of transparency over its new mill on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

According to The Straits Times, the company misled the public on how much pulp the mill had the capacity to produce, drawing criticism from Indonesian environmental group Hutan Kita Institute.

APP has been contacted for comment regarding Salim’s departure.

Meanwhile, the company has announced it has started working with a new PR agency in Singapore. SPRG Singapore won the account to help APP promote its “firefighting and haze prevention efforts” after years of battling green groups over its environmental practices.

Mumbrella Asia understands that SPRG is working with APP to respond to the criticism in the Straits Times report.

This site also understands that the company will continue to work with Edelman, which won the PR account from Cohn & Wolf last year, on an international level.

APP also recently appointed the former army general Bernard Tan as the managing director of corporate affairs and sustainability following the departure of Aida Greenbury in May.

SPRG Singapore general manager Edwin Yeo said: “Bernard Tan has a very strong reputation as a man of integrity, and is known for instilling proper governance and accountability in all his previous roles.

“Just like every Singaporean, I was initially hesitant about working with a company that has borne the brunt of the blame for causing the haze in the past. However, it was clear after we did our research on them, and speaking with internal stakeholders, I soon became convinced that the organisation has been undergoing a transformation since 2015, and has since spent US$80 million in firefighting and haze prevention efforts.It became very clear that a large part of their current perception problem is due to past communication efforts.”


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