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SoftBank, Sprint shake up top execs; Alibaba changes its management

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a monthly rundown of executive and board changes in the Asia-Pacific technology, media and communications industries.

Top news

* Sprint Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure is changing roles to become executive chairman, while Sprint CFO and President Michel Combes will take over as chief executive. The transition is expected to occur on or before May 31. Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp. said Claure will be the COO of SoftBank Group and CEO at SoftBank Group International.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. made management changes in some of its digital media and entertainment units to further integrate businesses. Yang Weidong, president of video-streaming platform Youku, is now in charge of Ali Music as well. Meanwhile, Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. President Fan Luyuan also took up the role of president of live-event ticketing platform Damai.

* Sony Pictures Entertainment continues to undergo a series of job cuts and reshuffling across its TV and film divisions. The Sony Corp. unit is trying to improve the company's bottom line, Variety reports. Crackle, Sony's ad-supported streaming platform, recently lost 12 of its employees to these cuts.

Media industry moves

* Zee Media Corp. Ltd. appointed former ABP News Network CEO Ashok Venkatramani as managing director for three years, effective July 1.

* Singapore Press Holdings appointed Glen Gary Francis as chief technology officer and Gaurav Sachdeva as chief product officer. Prior to joining SPH, Francis founded CIO Academy Asia, while Sachdeva was formerly chief-of-staff for products at GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd.

* Tokyo Broadcasting System named Takashi Sasaki as its new president, effective June 28, replacing Shinji Takeda, who will become chairman.

* Network Ten tapped Fairfax Media Ltd.'s Carla Webb-Sear to replace Dave Boorman as CFO. Webb-Sear joins the CBS Corp.-owned network following more than a decade of different roles at Fairfax, the most recent being group general manager of finance.

* BBC Studios hired Matchbox Pictures' Director of Unscripted Kylie Washington as its first director of production in Australia.

* Bharat Kedia resigned as CFO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.

Communications industry moves

* Several executives holding senior positions at Reliance Jio have recently left the company, people familiar with the development told The Economic Times. Tareq Amin, senior vice president of technology development; Ayush Sharma, senior vice president of engineering and technology; and Nikola Sucevic, assistant vice president and data science head have reportedly resigned.

* Only 700 out of Telenor India's 1,400 employees will be absorbed by Bharti Airtel Ltd., a source told The Economic Times.

* Telenor Myanmar Ltd. appointed Amaresh Kumar as chief marketing officer. Kumar, who succeeds Joslin Myrthong, previously served as chief product officer at Telenor India.

* NTT DoCoMo plans to name current Executive Vice President Hiroshi Tsujigami as its new representative director, replacing Toshiki Nakayama. The company also proposed Yasuo Sakamoto, Kouji Furukawa, Hiroshi Nakamura and Hozumi Tamura as new executive vice presidents. The nominations are subject to approval at a June shareholders meeting.

* Kaizad Heerjee stepped down as CEO of Aircel Cellular Ltd. as the Indian telco undergoes a bankruptcy protection process.

Technology industry moves

* ESPN Inc.'s Southeast Asian head Joyee Biswas will join Facebook Inc. as its head of Asia-Pacific sports partnerships.

* VMware Inc. appointed former eBay Inc. executive Ramkumar Narayanan as vice president and managing site director of its India operations.

* Sharp Corp. President Tai Jeng-wu will remain in charge through the fiscal year ending March 2020 after the company reported in April its first net profit in four years, The Nikkei reports.

* Google Inc. appointed Nitin Bawankule, previously Alphabet Inc. unit's head of sales for a number of businesses, to lead its cloud business in India, The Economic Times (India) reports.

* Huang Di, vice president of technology at LinkedIn Corp. China, has resigned to join Chinese apartment rental services company Ziroom, Sina reports.

* Li Shipeng, a founding member of Microsoft Corp. Research Asia, has joined Chinese artificial intelligence company Iflytek Co. Ltd. to lead its research and development department, according to China Money Network.

* Nintendo Co. Ltd. said its President Tatsumi Kimishima will retire in June, to be succeeded by Managing Executive Officer Shuntaro Furukawa.

* Former Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Vice President Brandon Yoon joined Apple Inc. as general manager for South Korea, Bloomberg News reports.

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