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Facebook makes organizational changes; Zayo Group loses president

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

TOP STORIES

* Facebook Inc. has reorganized its product and engineering groups into three main divisions and made management changes within the company, Recode reported May 8, citing sources. Chief Product Officer Chris Cox has been appointed to oversee Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, which would all be under the company's family of apps division. David Marcus will vacate his role as head of Messenger and will run a Facebook team focused on blockchain technology. The blockchain team will be under the new platforms and infrastructure division, to be managed by Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer. The division will also be in charge of projects related to augmented reality, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Stan Chudnovsky, the head of product at Messenger, will replace Marcus. Javier Olivan, Facebook vice president of growth, will oversee the central product services division, which covers shared features among multiple products or apps.

* Zayo Group Holdings Inc. President and COO Andrew Crouch has stepped down from his roles, effective immediately. Crouch's resignation is not related to his or Zayo's performance, the company said in a May 3 news release, adding that management will not seek any replacement in the near term. In other news, Zayo Group is advancing to the evaluation and preparation phase of its planned conversion into a real estate investment trust. The fiber network operator said May 3 that it has also started making organizational changes necessary to operate as a REIT, such as the realignment of its business units "to clearly delineate the leasing of network assets from ancillary services, which includes the separation and potential divestiture or deconsolidation of Zayo's Allstream Inc. business segment."

Media industry moves

* Christine Driessen will retire as executive vice president and CFO of Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN Inc. in January 2019, ESPN President James Pitaro noted in a May 9 note to employees. Driessen will relinquish the day-to-day management on July 1 and move into an advisory role to Pitaro. Driessen joined the company as controller in 1985.

* Live Nation Entertainment Inc. appointed Stuart Clumpas chairman of the company's operations in New Zealand. Also, the company named Rick Latham and Steve Wheadon head of operations and head of production, respectively. Mark Kneebone will now serve as head of promotions, the company said May 7. Latham and Wheadon will retain full oversight of the operations and production teams at Spark Arena, which Live Nation bought into in 2015.

* Aimia Inc.'s board appointed Jeremy Rabe president and CEO of the company, effective May 8. Rabe succeeds David Johnston, who is leaving the company, according to a May 8 news release. Previously, Rabe was the founding CEO and a board member at Premier Loyalty & Marketing.

* Monster Worldwide Inc. tapped Bob Melk to the position of chief commercial officer. Melk, who joined the company in February, previously was president of Dice, the company said May 7. Also, Melk oversaw the creation of the Enterprise Talent Solutions segment, led by Senior Vice President and General Manager Penny Queller. The segment aligns the company's staffing and enterprise business units in North America and Talent Fusion by Monster on a global basis. New appointments within the group include two vice presidents and three regional sales directors.

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. has appointed Nitin Bawankule to lead its cloud business in India as the country head, The Economic Times of India reported. Bawankule will report to Rick Harshman, Google Cloud's Asia-Pacific managing director. Previously, Bawankule was Google's head of sales for a number of businesses including e-commerce, retail and classifieds and education. He has spent six years at the tech giant.

* Snap Inc. said Amazon.com Inc. veteran Tim Stone will replace Andrew Vollero as CFO, effective May 16. Vollero will transition to a nonemployee adviser through Aug. 15 to ensure an effective transition of duties and responsibilities, Snap said in an SEC filing, adding that Vollero's "transition is not related to any disagreement with us on any matter relating to our accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, or practices." Stone, who has worked at Amazon since 1998, most recently served as the company's vice president of finance.

* Ariel Tobi, who founded independent content distributor Snap Global LLC, or Snap TV, will join Hemisphere Media Group Inc. as senior vice president of distribution and programming, according to a Form 8-K filed May 4.

Communications industry moves

* Alfred John will be the new president and CEO of Westell Technologies Inc., effective May 21. John succeeds interim president and CEO Kirk Brannock, who will continue to serve as chairman of the board. John joins the company from Rise Broadband, where he was executive vice president of technology and operations. He also served as president and CEO of Cheetah Technologies LP and American Broadband Communications LLC, and previously held senior management roles at Charter Communications Inc. and Charter Business Networks.

* David Heimbach replaced Earle MacKenzie as executive vice president and COO of Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. Heimbach most recently served as COO of Rise Broadband. Prior to that, he held several executive positions at Cincinnati Bell Inc. over a 14-year period, including COO and senior vice president of business and carrier markets. He will lead Shentel's wireless, cable and wireline business units, according to a May 8 news release. As part of the transition, MacKenzie will become executive vice president of special projects and will remain with the company to help with the handover of responsibilities.

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