Shawn Lim
Jun 3, 2022

David Wightman departs SCMP as global advertising lead

Wightman is exiting after six months in the role.

David Wightman
David Wightman

David Wightman has left his position as global head of advertising for South China Morning Post (SCMP) just six months into the role.

In an official statement, SCMP said: “As of May 31, David is no longer SCMP’s global head of advertising. He led important initiatives to build on our advertising business and we are grateful for his leadership. We are confident in our advertising leadership team to continue growing SCMP's regional-best content and data-led solutions, and we wish him every success in the future.”

Based on a source close to the matter wishing to remain anonymous, Wightman's role ended with immediate effect on Tuesday, May 31 after he was involved in a dispute with one or more SCMP staff. The source added that he was deemed not a “cultural and leadership fit” for the publisher by SCMP’s senior leadership. Campaign understands that Wightman had already resigned from the role earlier this month.

Wightman’s duties will now be taken over by Karrie Lam, vice president, content solutions, Darryl Choo, international business director based in Singapore, and Belinda Tse, business director. In Hong Kong, Wightman was also an executive committee member for the IAB but his departure from SCMP means he is no longer a member.

Wightman joined SCMP from Ebiquity where he was the group director of business operations in the UK. He also previously spent four years in Singapore with GroupM as the regional managing director for APAC.

In his reply to Campaign, Wightman denied any discussion around being a “cultural and leadership fit” at SCMP took place. He has also denied that a dispute took place.

He said: "I’m very proud of my time at SCMP. During my tenure I led the rebuilding of the advertising department and established a new leadership team. Every role within that new leadership team came from an internal promotion - and every person promoted repaid that trust by proving themselves as highly effective executives."
"The sales practice returned to hitting targets, our content solutions practice saw significant growth, and our operations practice improved the efficiency of our entire team by bringing together our legacy digital and print operations. I chose to depart SCMP because had I stayed, complications surrounding the relocation of my family meant I would have needed to live apart from them for over a year and this was not something I could do. I was not asked to leave, on the contrary, I chose to leave myself."
"I wish the team of SCMP the very best of success for the future. I believe the team are in fine shape to continue to build upon the significant successes of the last six months."
Editor's note: Edits were made to the above story on June 5 to clarify the timing of Wightman's resignation. 


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