CEO, Saha Fund
Gary Liu’s appointment to CEO of the South China Morning Post at the beginning of 2017 has seen the 116-year-old newspaper accelerate its digital transformation.
Liu’s hire was certainly an indicator of the direction The Post wanted to move toward, following its purchase by Chinese tech giant Alibaba in 2016. A digital media veteran, Liu was the former chief executive of New York-based news aggregator Digg, and before that worked at Spotify Labs.
Since Liu’s arrival, The Post has made a determined shift from legacy publisher to digital innovator. A revamped website and a number of new vertical online platforms have reenergized the publisher.
In July, Liu announced The Post's new digital subscription service for its estimated 50 million readers, an intriguing development considering that the first thing Alibaba did when it acquired the newspaper was to pull down the existing paywall.
“Although the purpose and ethics of news should never change, journalism as a product must evolve to meet the needs of today's user,” Liu tells Business Insider. “This has not been an easy journey nor is it complete. The digitization of a news business is far more than technology and data. It requires the transformation of culture and mindset, and the elevation of an entire workforce to move with speed, agility, and creativity.”