Ang Hui Keng will serve as interim GM until a successor is named.
Ow has been at the company for more than a decade and is considered a pioneer in the region. He is known for successfully spearheading a local content strategy that has been adopted by other channels groups; building channels including AXN and Korea’s ONE, and green-lighting big shows such as “The Apprentice Asia” and “The Amazing Race Asia.”
Ow’s high profile departure has sparked a wave of speculation that his move was in some way connected with the possible spin-off of the film and TV activities (the ‘Pictures’ division) from Sony Corp. (Sony’s finance director Masaru Kato said Thursday that the board was still considering Daniel Loeb’s proposal.)
Sony Television confirmed Ow’s departure, but the company’s generous farewell note did little to explain his reasons, nor what its next moves would be.
“After 14 years with the company, Ricky Ow will be stepping down as Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia to pursue other endeavors. Ricky was instrumental to the success of our networks businesses in the region and a respected member of our team and in the community. We thank him for all of his contributions to building the tremendous business we have today and wish him many future successes.”
One of Ow’s last decisions in the job was to give the go-ahead to a third season of the magic series Cyri: Viva Magic. Featuring provocative magician Cyril in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, the series is a co-venture between SPTN Asia and SPTN Japan with Charis Entertainment, a Hong Kong packaging company headed by former WMA talent agent Grace Chen.