The South China Morning Post , has named Catherine So as its next chief executive officer, succeeding Gary Liu effective 15 July. As previously announced, Liu will transition into a new role to oversee the development of Artifact Labs, a new blockchain and NFT company created by SCMP . According to SCMP , So’s appointment marks a new chapter for the company “which will benefit from her extensive media and technology leadership experience, strong track record for corporate transformation and innovation, and success in growing consumer-focused companies”.

So joins SCMP from Expedia Group where she was managing director of Asia Pacific overseeing its consumer brands in all APAC markets. She was managing director of Groupon Hong Kong, and has previously held leadership positions at iProperty Group (now REA Group), Tom Group, News Corporation, and AOL Time Warner.  So said, “The need for quality journalism has never been higher in today’s complex and polarised world. As a trusted news media company in Hong Kong and around the world, the Post is well-positioned to shape the global dialogue on Greater China and Asia.”  

She added that building on SCMP ’s world-class editorial, she will focus on strengthening business fundamentals: growing SCMP ’s global readership base, and expanding commercial opportunities, through both product and technological innovations. “I look forward to leading and working with the team to achieve the next phase of transformation and growth at SCMP ,” she added.

Joe Tsai, chairman of the SCMP board of directors said, “We are thrilled to have So as our next CEO. She brings exceptional leadership acumen to the company, and she will drive continued business growth with a deep focus on editorial excellence and user experience. We also thank Liu for his dedication and contributions over five-and-a-half years as CEO. He has created a lasting legacy by transforming the Post digitally and culturally, and has empowered the company to further innovate with purpose and passion.”

Liu said, “ SCMP is in great hands with So as our next CEO. The Post will benefit from her deep digital and commercial expertise and her leadership experience. I look forward to SCMP ’s continued growth under So’s stewardship.”

In March, SCMP announced its spin-off its blockchain-based NFT business to form a new company called ‘Artifact Labs’.  In an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE during the announcement, Liu said that he is very proud of all that has been accomplished over the five years. “There was initially a morbid curiosity on whether or not we would be able to do it. And then as we started beating all of the odds, people were trying to figure out how we were able to accomplish what we've done. And I'm very, very proud of that,” he said.

Currently, Artifact Labs is being positioned as an independent company and will be tasked to deliver long-term growth in its blockchain business and create value for the SCMP audience, users, content creators, partners and other stakeholders. Nonetheless, SCMP will continue to be a shareholder in Artifact Labs, and will seek third-party capital to help fund the company’s growth.

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SCMP spins off NFT biz with CEO Gary Liu at helm, global search for new CEO underway
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