It’s official: Yasmin Mahmood formally announced as MDeC CEO
By Digital News Asia August 18, 2014
- Appointment effective Sept 15
- Brings with her 25yrs of industry experience
THE Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has officially announced the appointment of Yasmin Mahmood to the role of chief executive officer (CEO), effective Sept 15.
Yasmin (pic) brings with her over 25 years of industry and leadership experience to oversee the overall growth of MDeC initiatives which include MSC Malaysia and Digital Malaysia, the national ICT custodian said in a statement.
She replaces Badlisham Ghazali, who officially resigned as CEO on June 20 to join Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
“Yasmin is a proven leader with an impressive track record in the ICT industry. Her strong credentials and extensive experience in the industry undoubtedly makes her the right leader to drive MDeC forward," said MDeC chairman Abdul Halim Ali.
“I look forward to working closely with Yasmin to continue to drive the nation’s digital economy and accelerate MDeC’s efforts to spur generational change via Digital Malaysia,” he added.
In July, Digital News Asia (DNA) had highlighted that Yasmin, who was recommended by MDeC’s board of directors, was the frontrunner in the CEO race, ahead of other potential candidates that included Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive Redza Rafiq and SME Corp Malaysia deputy CEO Saifol Bahri Shamlan.
Yasmin started her career at Hewlett-Packard Sales Malaysia (HPSM), going all the way up to the role of country marketing manager before she left in 1994 to take on the role of general manager at Dataprep Retail. She returned to HPSM in 1996 as general manager of its Commercial Channels Organisation.
In 2000, she left HPSM for one final time, with her sales acumen seeing her being appointed as general manager of Dell Malaysia and a corporate director at Dell Inc.
She was at Dell for six years before serving as managing director of Microsoft Malaysia from September 2006 to January 2010, before finally joining YTL Communications.
She also plays an active role in various organisations such as the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Consortium of Services Malaysia and the Women Development Panel of SME Corp Malaysia.
In terms of what she can bring to the table at MDeC, DNA’s sources in a previous report cited her vast experience and exposure to the ICT industry, and her extensive network with local and international ICT players.
Those familiar with her time at Microsoft Malaysia also cited her ability to open doors in the public sector, and her ability to engage with public sector officials comfortably.
She was the ‘face’ of the company’s ‘Malaysianising Microsoft’ campaign, which saw the tech giant taking a more inclusive stance in the face of competition from the Open Source movement, and also positioning itself as a stakeholder in Malaysia’s development.
She also championed women’s entrepreneurship during her tenure, and in 2009, was recognised as the ‘ICT Person of the Year’ by the National ICT Association of Malaysia or Pikom, which described her as a “visionary yet down-to-earth leader.”
However, others argued that while she is a great salesperson who isn’t afraid of challenges, they questioned her ability to formulate broad business strategy and vision during a time when Microsoft Malaysia was facing its toughest hurdles, including the global economic downturn. They also said she had difficulty engaging with the more technical employees at the company.
The MSC Malaysia initiative driven by MDeC has been an important catalyst for the ICT sector and has contributed more than RM123 billion ringgit in revenue, RM153 billion in investments and more than 130,000 jobs since its inception in 1996.
In 2011, MDeC’s mandate was broadened by the Prime Minister to include driving Malaysia’s transition towards a developed digital economy by 2020 through the Digital Malaysia programme.
A long-term national initiative that will be rolled out in various phases, it is aimed at building an ecosystem that promotes the pervasive use of ICT in all aspects of the economy.
Tomorrow: Yasmin's top challenges as MDeC CEO