Sunday, April 24, 2011

I remember LEE CHEOK YEW

I remember LEE CHEOK YEW

He was with the then SBC and TCS from 1991 – 2000. During the period he was in top management positions in the SBC Enterprises, CEO of TCS and COO MediaCorp. He left to join MediaWorks as CEO to compete with MediaCorp.

I was fortunate to be able to work with him and learn the commercial aspects of running a media company as Head of the Engineering Department. Known to think out the box and removing all the bureaucy of the previous organisation Radio and TV Singapore, Cheok Yew was set to bring MediaCorp to new heights.

Every CEO i knew faced the challenges of managing the company both as a commercial broadcaster and a national broadcaster. Till now no CEO has come up with a formula to manage this dilemma to bring the company to soaring heights.

As for Cheok Yew I think he was a commercial broadcaster first and national broadcaster second, which was the reason for the company making lots of money during his tenure of office. And the reason for most bureaucrats to misundertand his style of management.

As a result a series of events in the company that initiated the creation of a competitor, SPH MediaWorks.. he left to be its CEO. Unfortunately the competition was short-lived. It lasted three years. He then joined MTV and was involved in a number of consultancy and media business projects. I understand he has retired but still active in the Marketing Institute and other related consultancies on the media. You can find more information about him on the NET.

Mr S M Ong a former Executive Producer has this to say about him in his blog when he wrote about his favourites CEOs of MediaCorp:

"He was my CEO at both the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) and SPH MediaWorks.

In 2000, I was part of a group sent to Cannes, France, for an international TV trade show. On one of the days there, Cheok Yew, another executive and I rented a car to explore the region. We drove all the way to Monaco.

But the most unforgettable part of the road trip for me was eating some raw seafood and having the most spectacularly explosive diarrhoea of my life when I returned to my hotel room.

Because of this cherished memory, Cheok Yew will always be my favourite MediaCorp CEO.”

Mr SM Ong blogs at


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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Does any one know that Mr Lee Cheok Yew is a Tiong Bahru native and alumnus of the now defunct Tiong Bahru (Primary) School? So is Peter Lim the remisier king.