The prime live tournament operator, Asian Poker Tour (APT), has announced former PokerStars LIVE Macau marketing guru Fred Leung as its new CEO and Neil Johnson as its President.
The decision comes following the sale of the APT brand by Asianlogic Group to APT Events Private Limited, whose associates include popular Malaysian high stakes poker pro, Michael Soyza.
Sharing his excitement about Leung’s hiring as CEO, Natural8 Ambassador Soyza said, “When the stakeholders were in the process of identifying new leadership, it was clear that Fred was the best person for the role given his prior experience and success in the Far East.” He also added, “We’re ecstatic to have him at the helm and confident he will raise the Asian Poker Tour to new heights.”
Leung will be replacing the recently departed Jeff Mann in the top job. He will be responsible to further the marketing prospects of APT and establish the brand’s legacy in the Asian circuit.
The Asian Poker Tour has signed Fred Leung as Chief Executive Officer. @fleung22 succeeds Jeff Mann, who previously held the CEO role, and will oversee the rebranding of the APT under new ownership.— Asian Poker Tour (@AsianPokerTour) August 31, 2022
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Former PokerStars LIVE Macau marketing guru, Leung spent more than 10 years from 2008 to 2018 developing the PokerStars brand in the Asian region. He alongside Danny McDonagh played a crucial role in expanding PokerStars’ presence in Asia and developing several prestigious poker events like the Macau Poker Cup, the Red Dragon, and the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP).
Talking about his new role as the APT CEO, Leung said, “I’m beyond excited at this opportunity with the APT which has had a strong presence in the region for over a dozen years. Our objective is to retain the Asian Poker Tour’s legacy while advancing its competitive position within Asia.”
The 45-year old added, “The alignment in vision for APT arrived quickly with the new ownership group which was paramount in my decision to join the team. They’re aggressive, ambitious, and most importantly, passionate about the game of poker.”
Neil Johnson Hired as APT President
Just a day after the appointment of Leung as CEO, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) announced another former PokerStars team member Neil Johnson as its president. Both Leung and Johnson are the industry veterans with wide expertise in marketing and the live event operations, respectively.
Today, the Asian Poker Tour revealed that they have signed Neil Johnson as President.— Asian Poker Tour (@AsianPokerTour) September 1, 2022
The announcement comes just a day after Fred Leung was named CEO as the APT continues its evolution under new ownership.
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Talking about his new role, Johnson, who will be taking care of the business development aspects of the brand, said, “The vision of what the Asian Poker Tour wants to become is an opportunity and challenge that I simply couldn’t pass up. I can’t wait to get started on this adventure!”
Reacting to Johnson’s appointment as APT president, Leung said, “Neil Johnson is one of the finest individuals in the poker industry. This is a major addition for the APT. Neil and I will largely work in tandem. He will lead the live event operations while my focus will be on marketing initiatives.”
The 48-year old is a well-known figure in the industry, having been involved in the live scene for 20 years. Previously working with PokerStars Live as its global representative, Johnson has been on the Board of Directors for the Tournament Directors Association for 10 years. In 2013, he won the Poker Industry Person of the Year title at the GPI European Poker Awards for his splendid performance.