Vim Shanmugam to lead Coconuts Media, Byron Perry steps down as CEO

Change is afoot at the helm of Coconuts Media and we’d like to formally announce that Vim Shanmugam is stepping up as our new General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer.

Shanmugam takes over management of the business from Coconuts founder and former CEO, Byron Perry, who relocated to the United States from Singapore in late 2022.

Shanmugam will lead all operations at Coconuts Media, overseeing Coconuts, BK Magazine, and Soimilk publications; Coconuts TV factual video production department; and Grove in-house brand studio for clients. He will be in charge of all editorial, commercial, and staffing decision-making, leveraging his 18+ years of experience in producing content for TV, film, and digital platforms since joining Coconuts Media in 2020.

Shanmugam is a Singaporean-American who graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in cinematic arts. Before joining Coconuts Media, Vim spent almost a decade with NBC Universal, producing shows for Netflix and Hulu. He has also worked with prominent brands and agencies such as P&G, Unilever, Google, Ogilvy, Publicis, and GroupM. With his extensive experience and leadership, Coconuts Media is well-positioned for continued success.

“It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the reins of leading Coconuts. Byron has laid the foundations for an exciting future and I’m ready to shape and mold Coconuts into becoming a marquee media giant in the region and beyond,” said Shanmugam. “I’m thrilled to bring my expertise in content, marketing, and sales as we navigate this transformative time in the media landscape. Alongside our vibrant, skilled, and diverse teams I want to build the next phase of our company’s  growth as we leverage and evolve Coconuts, BK Magazine, and Soimilk to drive deeper connections with our readers and partners.”

 Perry published the first-ever Coconuts story from his Bangkok apartment back in 2011. Under his leadership, what started out as a local source to find out what’s happening in Thailand’s capital has evolved over the past decade into a multinational media group operating across Southeast Asia, with a sizzling documentary and entertainment arm and an in-house brand studio. Perry will become Chairman of Coconuts Media but have minimal involvement with day-to-day operations.

“It’s very hard to distill over a decade of founding and running a business into one pithy quote, so I won’t try,” said Perry. “But I do want to say that it has been an honor and pleasure of a lifetime to run Coconuts. Working with our stellar staff to tell the stories of that matter from Southeast Asia throughout the years has been a blast. You know who you are, and I thank you.”

Clarissa Cortes will act as Shanmugam’s right hand running the business, continuing to serve as the Head of Operations and Talent. Together, they will work to ensure the continued success and growth of Coconuts Media. 

About Coconuts Media

Coconuts is Asia’s leading alternative media company.

Our mission is to inform and entertain by telling true stories that matter to our audience through a wide portfolio of publications and in-house studios.

  • fresh and juicy news on what’s happening in Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bali, Yangon, and beyond.
  • BK Magazine: Bangkok’s leading source for what’s new and cool in the city, including the best places to eat and hang out.
  • Soimilk: a daily dose of lifestyle news for Thailand’s digital-savvy youth.
  • Coconuts TV: world-class documentary programs on weird and wondrous stories from Asia for broadcast TV and streaming platforms.
  • Grove: our in-house brand studio that ideates and manages creative campaigns for leading international brands to run on Coconuts publications and beyond.

Each month, we reach an audience of millions across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong through digital, print, audio, and video.

We are passionate about journalism, the media industry, and telling the untold stories of our region. Learn more at