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Lachlan Murdoch to lead new Fox post Disney deal; Monster names CEO

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

TOP STORIES

* As expected, 21st Century Fox Inc.'s Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch will serve as chairman and CEO at the new "Fox" company that will be created after the company's proposed transaction with Walt Disney Co. receives shareholder and regulatory approval. Also, Rupert Murdoch will serve as co-chairman of the newly created entity, alongside Lachlan Murdoch; and 21st Century Fox CFO John Nallen will take a broader role as new Fox's COO, the company said May 16. Lachlan Murdoch has served as executive chairman of 21st Century Fox since 2015. The news comes after a recent media report indicated that Fox CEO James Murdoch will not be part of the newly created entity and is expected to start a venture fund.

* Scott Gutz will join Monster Worldwide Inc. as CEO of the company, effective July 2. Previously, Gutz led Amadeus North America Inc., a provider of technology services to the travel and tourism industry, as CEO, according to a May 10 news release.

Media industry moves

* ESPN Inc.'s Southeast Asian head Joyee Biswas will join Facebook Inc. as its head of Asia-Pacific sports partnerships. Biswas said on Facebook that in his new role, he will manage Facebook's collaborations with Asia-Pacific teams, leagues, athletes and sports media across Facebook-owned platforms. He will continue to be based in Singapore.

* Uber Technologies Inc. is struggling to fill its financial chief position after its top candidate reportedly backed out, The Wall Street Journal reported. The CFO role has been vacant since 2015. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is under pressure from the board and investors to secure a CFO before the company's planned IPO next year. VMware Inc. CFO Zane Rowe, a leading candidate for the role, recently indicated he will turn down the job, the report said. Former Airbnb Inc. CFO Laurence Tosi also recently passed on the role, the report said.

* Discovery Inc.'s board tapped Manuel Alvarez to be the company's new chief accounting officer. Alvarez will succeed the current accounting chief Kurt Wehner, who is leaving the company, according to a Form 8-K filed May 10. The appointment will become effective with the departure of Wehner on Dec. 31, whichever occurs first.

Communications industry moves

* Edward Gilvar will step down as chief marketing officer of Vonage Holdings Corp., effective June 1. According to a Form 8-K filed May 14, Gilvar is exiting Vonage because of the company's progress and after consideration of his personal goals in consumer marketing.

* Philippe Jetté will lead Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. as president and CEO, effective Sept. 1. The appointment was made on the recommendation of Louis Audet, who has been president and CEO of both companies for 25 years. Audet will become executive chairman of the board of both companies, effective Sept. 1. A replacement for Jetté, currently president of Cogeco Peer 1 Inc., will be named in the coming weeks.

* 8x8 Inc. purchased MarianaIQ, a Silicon Valley, Calif.-based startup, as part of the strategic investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The MIQ team, including founders Soumyadeb Mitra and Venkat Nagaswamy, will now join 8x8, according to a May 15 news release.

* Robert Dennerlein is stepping down as CFO of Internap Corp. to pursue other opportunities, effective June 30. Dennerlein will continue to serve as CFO until a successor is named, the company said May 14. The company said Dennerlein's departure is not the result of any dispute or disagreement, or any matter relating to the company's accounting practices or financial statements.

* The White House has set up a group of artificial intelligence researchers to advise the White House on AI research and development priorities. Housed within the National Science and Technology Council, the Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence will also work with the private sector and independent researchers on AI-related research and development, according to a May 10 report by Nextgov. The committee will be chaired by OSTP leadership, along with the National Science Foundation and the Pentagon's research division, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Other members include Walter Copan, Commerce Department undersecretary for standards and technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Michael Griffin, Defense Department undersecretary of defense for research and engineering; Paul Dabbar, undersecretary for science at the Energy Department; NSF Director France Cordova; DARPA Director Peter Highnam; and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency Director Jason Matheny.

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