Digital, Media and Entertainment

Conflux Asia/Pacific—Q1 2011

Industry Trends, Moves & Profiles, Trends and Moves in the Media, Entertainment and Convergence Sector

​The holiday season in the last quarter of 2010 saw a significant growth of online shopping in the region. Industry analysts such as Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) post-holiday study predicted that e-commerce in Asia will continue to grow exponentially in 2011. Korea is the most developed market, followed by Japan and China.

Among all, online group buying leads the trend. The philosophy behind this is to offer products or services at reduced prices or discounts for users, with a condition that a minimum number of buyers are required to join the deal. The popularity has attracted global players such as Groupon who have entered the region by forming a joint-venture,, with China internet giant Tencent. The move has encouraged local competitors like Taobao to build its group buying session, and a number of similar websites have also seen significant growth in other countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

The popularity of group buying behaviour in the region continues to attract newcomers from all over the world and we expect to see the needs of talents in this space continue to grow, particularly in the huge Chinese market where the government is seeking to boost internal consumption.

Conflux (highlights January – March 2011)

Alibaba Group

  • Elvis Lee, Chief Operating Officer of has resigned.
  • David Wei has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of and is replaced by Jonathan Lu.


  • Mengqiu Wang has been promoted to Vice President, in charge of search technology research and development for Baidu. Mr Wang joined Baidu in 2002 and has been focusing on the research and development of Baidu’s search and network technologies as well as management responsibilities.
  • Guang Zhu has been promoted to Vice President, in charge of Baidu marketing, public relations, and other related activities. Before joining Baidu, Mr Zhu held the position of Senior Director of Public Relations and Integration Promotion for Greater China with the Lenovo Group before joining Baidu in 2008.

Celestial Pictures

  • Jeffrey Soong has been appointed Managing Director of its newly opened Taiwan office. A veteran of the media industry both in the U.S. and Asia, Mr Soong was most recently CEO and Managing Director of Infinio Group.


  • Chris Dwyer has taken on overall responsibility for CNN Asia Pacific’s Consumer and Affiliate Marketing, in addition to his role as Executive Director of PR.

Convergence Review Committee

  • Glen Boreham, former IBM Australia chief, has been appointed Chair of the Australian government’s review of the nation’s communications and media regulatory environment. Mr Boreham has also acted as Chair of the Screen Australia Board since June 2008 and as a member of the government’s IT Industry Innovation Council since 2009.

Fairfax Media

  • Greg Hywood has been appointed Chief Executive Officer after taking over on an interim basis following the departure of Brian McCarthy.


  • Yichin Lee has been named Chief Executive Officer, replacing Arthur Wang who is retiring after leading GigaMedia for the last seven years. Mr Lee, who joined GigaMedia’s board as an Independent Director in 2003, will assume the role of CEO effective immediately.
  • Arthur Wang will remain on the board of directors and serve as a Special Advisor to the new CEO.

Global Payments

  • James R. Hicks has been appointed President of Asia Pacific. Mr Hicks has extensive payments industry experience, most recently serving as President of the company’s Prague-based payment processing business in Central Europe.


  • Nick Leeder has been appointed Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive Officer of The Australian at News Limited.
  • Sajith Sivanandan has been appointed Country Manager for Malaysia, a new office opened in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Sivanandan previously led Google’s online advertising business for the travel sector in Southeast Asia.


  • Yun Ouyang has been named Chief Executive Officer of Groupon China, appointed by Tencent. Mr Ouyang was the Deputy GM, Strategy of Tencent.
  • Howard Schultz, Chairman and Chief Executive of Starbucks, has joined the board of online retail discount company Groupon.

Microsoft Advertising

  • Jason Scott has been appointed General Manager for Asia, based in Singapore, replacing Richard Dunall who relocated to New York as Vice President, Global Accounts and Agencies. Mr Scott has had stints at Microsoft Advertising in Europe and the United States. Previously, Mr Scott was the Commercial Director for ninemsn in Australia.


  • Dean Capabianco has been appointed National Sales Director. Mr Capabianco was previously Commercial Director of Performance Media, and replaces Nicholas Gray who left the portal in February.

Ogilvy & Mather

  • Peony Wu has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Digital Officer, ensuring the group’s digital transformation continues to lead across China markets. Ms Wu was most recently the Managing Director of Neo@Ogilvy Greater China.


  • Justin Milne has been appointed to the board of pieNETWORKS. Mr Milne was previously Group Managing Director of Telstra BigPond.

PRM Australia

  • Troy Westley has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing. He was previously Google Enterprise Sales Manager and Vice President of Australia and New Zealand for


  • Ross McCreath has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Australian online DVD rental company.

REA Group

  • Simone Carroll has been appointed General Manager, Human Resources. She previously worked for companies including Medibank Private, Sensis and Kraft Foods.


  • Paul Bennett has been appointed National Managing Director, Australia. He replaces Michael Branagh who has moved to a global role as Managing Director, Global Accounts.


  • Qian Geng has been appointed Vice General Manager of Mobile Internet Application Planning and Development. Mr Qian joined The9 from Tencent, where he was Assistant General Manager of Tencent Interactive Entertainment.


Vivaki China has made two senior appointments in an effort to strength its digital team:

  • Jonathan Qiao has been appointed Deputy General Manager of Vivaki Nerve Center China.
  • Sharon Wang has joined the company as General Manager of Digital Media at Vivaki Exchange China.


  • Myung Jo Choi has been promoted to Head of Display, Southeast Asia. Located in Singapore, Ms Choi was previously the Sales Director of Yahoo! Malaysia.
  • Susanna Lee, has been named Regional Vice President Sales and Marketplaces for Asia Pacific, replacing Ken Mandel, who announced his resignation. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Ms Lee was Vice President of Marketing at BoardVantage and has held both product marketing and management roles at Neoforma and Netscape.

About Russell Reynolds Associates

Leadership for a Changing World. In today’s global business environment, success is driven by the talent, vision and leadership capabilities of senior executives.

Russell Reynolds Associates is a leading global executive search and assessment firm with more than 300 consultants based in 39 offices worldwide. Our consultants work closely with public and private organizations to identify, assess and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success. We value teamwork, serving our clients with a collaborative approach that spans our international network of sector and functional experts.

Our in-depth knowledge of major industries and our clients’ specific business challenges, combined with our understanding of who and what make an effective leader, ensure that our clients secure the best leadership teams for the ongoing success of their businesses. For more information, please visit us at

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Conflux Asia/Pacific—Q1 2011