Suki Salvador: The Leader For the Future
Suki Salvador: The Leader For the Future

Suki Salvador: The Leader For the Future

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The straight-talking industry veteran is the brand new President of One Mega Group.

Earlier today, Archie Carrasco, the CEO and Chairman of One Mega Group announced that he would be stepping away from his role in the company before naming Suki Salvador, formerly the VP of Content & Creatives, as the brand new leader of OMG. Salvador, the longstanding creative director of MEGA Magazine and EIC of MEGA Man, is known for his straight talk, intense creative drive, and pursuit of excellence—things that he hopes to underline even more in the company and its multiple brands.

Photo from MEGA archive

At the start of his speech during the online OMG Town hall meeting, Salvador thanked Carrasco, who took over the reigns of OMG from founder Sari V. Yap, and who steered the company successfully through a tumultuous time marked by economic uncertainty and, of course, an unprecedented pandemic. During his leadership, Carrasco pursued an employee-centric style of management, showing stronger fiscal results and smoother, more streamlined operational processes. Despite the odds, Carrasco was able to strengthen the company by establishing robust titles and properties outside print. Salvador himself expressed gratefulness to his predecessor for the stable company he was inheriting. But of course, taking over the lead role in this storied company will be no easy feat, even for the industry veteran.

MEGA Worthy

It is perhaps no surprise that Salvador was named the new president of the 29-year-old media company. In its values, One Mega Group has always championed homegrown talent, skill and creativity; Salvador, in his 13 years with the company, has not only discovered and nurtured many talented individuals, but he himself is one of these extraordinary visionaries. A graduate of New York University (NYU), Salvador was pursuing his pre-med studies until he heeded the siren call of the arts. From training under legendary Filipino photographer Raymund Isaac, to co-founding ICON magazine, Salvador made it clear that no job was too small or too big—if he needed it to succeed, he would do it with style, grace and integrity.

Photos from MEGA archive

Upon joining OMG, Suki Salvador took on many different roles and in each one of them he brought with him his unique voice (figuratively and literally—Salvador is known for his distinct cadence and vocal inflection) and point of view. From co-starring and co-hosting the television hit MEGA Fashion Crew, to conceptualizing and executing industry-changing events and products, and even laying out magazine pages when there’s no one else to do it, Salvador has done them all.

Creative Vision

“I first met him when he joined the company as a creative director for Lifestyle Asia. The [previous] EIC Anna Sobrepeña brought him in,” says Peewee Reyes-Isidro, Editor-in-Chief of MEGA Magazine. “My first impression was that he was smart, articulate and [possessed] a clear vision. He later on was quickly appointed as group creative director for all brands because of his ability to balance art and commercial, as well as effectively share the narrative through covers.”

Photo from MEGA archive | MEGA’s Editor-in-Chief, Pewee Reyes-Isidro with One MEGA Group’s new President, Suki Salvador at MEGA The New PH Ball 2018

Salvador and Reyes-Isidro have been a duo of sorts for many years, hosting and anchoring the iconic #MakingMEGA documentaries and surviving many, many deadlines together. Together, they weathered the advertising and audience shift to digital, countless team changes, and the generally volatile waters of the local publishing industry. In a world known for its cattiness, their steadfast relationship is an oddity, considering their contrasting styles and personalities. “[W]e are each other’s sounding boards,” the soft-spoken Reyes-Isidro shares of her relationship with the often brutally frank Salvador. “We are honest and transparent. And we support one another.” Between them, they have produced many memorable MEGA covers and editorials. When asked which one most encapsulated Salvador’s style, the editor came up with a list that included several milestone September issues, another with supermodel Tyra Banks, and a number of #MakingMEGA editions. “[These] are [just] the ones I can recall,” shares Reyes-Isidro with a laugh. “They are beautiful; the cover stars recognizable but elevated [in terms of styling] and [each one] is an image that is memorable and iconic.”

“Not only is he creative, [but] he also understands the processes and operations [of publishing]. He also has a unique understanding of the business side. That is rare. So to have all those skills and experience makes a good leader,” she adds.

What’s In A Name

Anyone who is anyone within OMG has probably experienced the tough but genuine love that Salvador is known to dish out at critical moments. During his speech, Salvador was forthright enough to name the issues that have plagued the company. Not one to mince words, he immediately shared the grand plan: “My singular vision for One Mega Group is to be a media giant,” he declared, at par with boldfaced names such as Condé Nast and The New York Times. He went on to share his expectations and even memorably instructed how he preferred to be called.

Photo from MEGA archive

If you’d been working for him for over three years or are part of his management team, then you may call him by his first name (whether or not you prefer to attach a salutation is up to you); but if not, you may refer to his initials, SCS. “I want you to earn the right to call me by my first name,” he said plainly. On a surface note, it may come off as arrogant, designed to give pause and perhaps even inflict a bit of fear to a brash newbie or an indifferent colleague. But to those who know him well, it is distinctly—charmingly—patent Suki Salvador. If you’re not sure about your relationship with him, then you need to earn the confidence—his and yours. And you’ll get that by working hard, pursuing excellence, and doing it all with style, grace and passion. In short, you need to follow his lead.