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Industry moves: Hotstar, Ola and Twitter

Star India appoints Varun Narang to head Hotstar’s product and tech division

varun narang

Star India has hired Varun Narang to head Hotstar’s product and technology division to scale up its digital operations and mobile platform, reports Livemint. Narang will lead the team to build solutions for the mobile app, content discovery, video playbacks and build native ad platforms for the app. Narang has previously worked with Hulu, Amazon and Xerox in the US.

Star India debuted its HotStar service in January this year. In April, the company partnered with technology services giant Accenture to help develop, launch and deliver its on-the-air programming on its video streaming application Hotstar. The video-on-demand application offered all of Star India’s television and sports offerings along with Bollywood & regional movies from other studios.

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Ola appoints Sundeep Sahni as VP of new initiatives

sundeep sahni

Online cab aggregator Ola has appointed Sundeep Sahni as the VP of new initiatives, reports VCCircle. Sahni previously co-founded and was the MD (Indonesia) of the Lazada Group. He worked there for almost 3 years. Prior to that, he was an associate at the Watheeqa Capital Company for over 1.5 years and in the same capacity at Credit Suisse for over 3.5 years as indicated by his LinkedIn profile.

Earlier this month, Pallav Singh, the senior VP of operations at Ola, took over as the CEO of TaxiForSure after Arvind Singhal resigned as its CEO. Ola also appointed Arun Sarin as an independent director to its board of directors. Sarin was the CEO of the Vodafone Group for 5 years and serves as an advisor on the boards of Cisco Systems, Charles Schwab, Blackhawk Networks and Safeway, Inc. He also served as a senior advisor at the private equity firm KKR.

Also read: Ola’s Anand Subramanian on TFS integration, user expectations, smaller city expansions & more

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Twitter’s chief communications officer Gabriel Stricker quits

gabriel stricker

Twitter’s chief communications officer Gabriel Stricker has quit the company, reports NY Times BITS. The report claims that his quitting the company was not of his own accord. Before Twitter, Stricker worked at Google as its director of global communications and public affairs. A re/code report suggested that Twitter was looking to ‘shift its communications strategy and direction’ and bring in new leadership but did not specifically point out the shift or indicate by when it would find Stricker’s replacement. It states that the current communications team would report to Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde for now.

Towards the end of last month, Twitter’s vice president of corporate development and strategy, Rishi Garg quit to “pursue some exciting new projects.” Garg was in-charge of mergers & acquisitions at Twitter. In the same month, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo stepped down from his role after five years. The company’s co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey took over as the interim CEO while Twitter continues its hunt for a new CEO.

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