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US Senate confirms FCC commissioners; Netflix gets new CFO

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a rundown of recent executive changes in the U.S. technology, media and telecommunications industries.

* The U.S. Senate on Jan. 2 confirmed Geoffrey Starks as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission and Commissioner Brendan Carr for a new full term. Starks most recently served as assistant chief in the Enforcement Bureau, while Carr has spearheaded wireless infrastructure modernization, according to an FCC release. Starks' term runs through June 2022 and Carr's through December 2023. Starks fills the last Democratic seat on the five-member FCC, which has had three Republican members and one Democratic member since early last year.

* Following the completion of Gray Television Inc.'s $3.65 billion acquisition of Raycom Media Inc., Hilton Howell became Gray's executive chairman and CEO, while former Raycom President and CEO Pat LaPlatney became Gray's president and co-CEO. Gray COO of Local Media Bob Smith will oversee station operations. Jim Ryan will continue to serve as CFO of the company, reporting to Howell.

* Netflix Inc. on Jan. 2 confirmed Spencer Neumann will be the company's new CFO. Neumann, who was recently fired as CFO by Activision Blizzard Inc. for "violating his legal obligations to the company," will replace longtime Netflix executive David Wells, who announced his departure in August 2018. Dennis Durkin was named Activision Blizzard's new CFO.

* Jeffrey Charlton will step down as senior vice president and corporate controller of Nielsen Holdings PLC, effective March 1.

* AutoWeb Inc. appointed Mark Ugar to the newly created position of vice president of strategy and development. Ugar will oversee AutoWeb's partnerships and manage corporate and business development initiatives across the company. He was most recently senior vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at YP Holdings LLC.

* Townsquare Media Inc. co-founder Dhruv Prasad is resigning as co-CEO and as a director of the company, effective Jan. 31. Bill Wilson will transition from co-CEO to serve as the sole CEO of the radio company, according to a Jan. 2 news release. Wilson will join Stuart Rosenstein, co-founder and CFO, and Claire Yenicay, executive vice president of investor relations and corporate communications, to assume the management responsibilities Prasad held over the past year.

* Technology-focused private equity firm Vector Capital closed its acquisition of Host Analytics Inc., which provides cloud-based enterprise performance management solutions. Host Analytics Chief Revenue Officer Ron Baden will succeed Dave Kellogg as CEO of the company on an interim basis. Vector Vice President Dan Fletcher will become interim CFO at Host Analytics, replacing Ian Charles.

* Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. reached an agreement to split from iHeartMedia Inc., which owns 89.1% of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings' outstanding common stock. The separation will be in conjunction with and is subject to iHeartMedia's emergence from its ongoing restructuring process. After restructuring, William Eccleshare will lead Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings as CEO. Eccleshare now serves as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International and will continue to lead Clear Channel International as part of his new role. Scott Wells will continue to serve Clear Channel Outdoor Americas as CEO. Until the company exits the restructuring process, Bob Pittman will retain his role as Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings' CEO, and Rich Bressler will continue as president and CFO.