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Media & Comm moves through Jan. 27: Sony, Baidu, Flipkart

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Media & Comm moves through Jan. 27: Sony, Baidu, Flipkart

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

Top moves

* Michael Lynton, Sony Corp.'s corporate executive officer and CEO of Sony Entertainment, is stepping down from his current positions, effective Feb. 2, to become chairman of Snap Inc. Sony said Jan. 14 that Lynton will act as co-CEO of the entertainment division for six months until a replacement is found.

* Chinese internet company Baidu Inc. named former Microsoft Corp. executive Qi Lu as president and COO, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 17. According to a company statement, Lu was placed in charge of products, technology, sales, marketing and operations.

* Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart named Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its new CEO to succeed Binny Bansal, who becomes group CEO, Reuters reported Jan. 9. Krishnamurthy is a former executive of U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management, a key investor in Flipkart.

Media industry moves

* The New York Times is preparing to open an office in Sydney and appointed Damien Cave to head the Australian team, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Jan. 24.

* SoundCloud tapped former Pandora Media Inc. executive Shaun Alexander to become its commercial director for Australia and New Zealand, Mumbrella reported Jan. 24. The music-streaming platform also hired Marta Bonzanini to lead the development of sales strategy for the region.

* Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. announced Jan. 23 that it appointed Leena Singarajah as managing director for Asia, effective immediately. Singarajah will be based in Singapore and report to Derek Chang, head of international lifestyle channels.

* Dentsu Aegis Network said Jan. 20 that it expanded its global media investment arm Amplifi into New Zealand and appointed Richard Pook as head of Amplifi NZ, effective Feb. 13. In his new role, Pook will lead investment and manage local and global media partnerships for the New Zealand group.

* Nickelodeon tapped Ben Cox to lead its Australia and New Zealand operations starting in February, succeeding current vice president and general manager Jihee Nam, Rapid TV News reported Jan. 12. Cox is coming from Foxtel, where he served as general manager of content aggregation.

* Zheng Wei resigned as senior vice president of iQiyi, the video-streaming platform of Baidu, Sina News reported Jan. 11. Zheng is joining the Chinese news app Toutiao, but it was not clear what the position would be.

* Singapore's MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. is taking on a new chief customer officer, Debra Soon, after Chang Long Jong resigned from the post, Channel News Asia reported Jan. 9. Chang also stepped down as a deputy CEO, but the position will not be filled, according to CEO Shaun Seow.

* Dentsu Thailand Co. Ltd., a unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, appointed Narong Tresuchon as CEO to replace Amornsak Sakpauram, who was promoted to executive chairman, Krungthep Turakij reported Jan. 6.

Communications industry moves

* Hugo Barra is stepping down as global vice president of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc. and joining Facebook Inc. to lead its virtual reality efforts, including its Oculus team. According to a Jan. 26 report by Bloomberg News, Barra will serve as vice president of virtual reality at the social networking giant.

* U.K.-based mobile brand advertising company Kargo expanded into Australia and appointed former BBC Worldwide Ltd. executive Robert Leach as general manager, Mumbrella reported Jan. 25.

* Philippine telco Globe Telecom named Anton Reynaldo Bonifacio as its new chief information security officer and data protection officer, The Philippine Star reported Jan. 24.

* Indian ride hailing-service Ola tapped PepsiCo veteran Vishal Kaul as its COO, while appointing current COO Pranay Jivrajika as founding partner, Mint reported Jan. 23.

* Suphachai Chearavanont, president and CEO of Thai telco True Corp., announced that he will step down from his executive positions in the first or second quarter, but will stay on as a member of the board, Thai Post reported Jan. 20. Suphachai will reportedly take up the position of CEO at CP Group, True's parent company.

* David Scribner, CEO of Virgin Mobile's Australian unit, is leaving to take the chief executive post at True Local, an online directory acquired by Australian marketing company Sensis Pty Ltd, AdNews reported Jan. 16.

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. announced Jan. 11 that it appointed Badal Bagri as CFO for its operations in India and South Asia. He will report to Nilanjan Roy, the Indian telco's global CFO.

* Three top executives at India's Flipkart — former logistics business head Saikiran Krishnamurthy, marketing chief Samardeep Subandh, and products chief Surojit Chatterjee — left a day after Kalyan Krishnamurthy was appointed as the new CEO, Mint reported Jan. 11.

* Israeli cybersecurity company Cato Networks said Jan. 11 that it is expanding its leadership team in Asia-Pacific with the appointment of Stree Naidu as Asia-Pacific business operations head.

* PayPal Inc.'s Australian unit appointed Dominic Brandon as head of brand, according to a Jan. 11 report by Mumbrella. Brandon was the former head of marketing and brand at Allianz Australia.

* Pawan Yadav, formerly Reliance Jio's business head of public Wi-Fi, has become vice president of FireFly Networks, a joint venture between Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel, The Economic Times (India) reported Jan. 8.