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BW Businessworld

People In The News: Role Reshuffle

Brendan Eich, co-founder and former CEO of Mozilla, made a comeback with a new browser called “Brave” that blocks outside online ads and ad tracking.

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In the first major top-deck reshuffle in about a year at India’s biggest e-commerce company Flipkart, co-founder and chief operating officer Binny Bansal has come to the fore, replacing Sachin Bansal as the CEO. The move is viewed by some as a step towards a stock market listing. While Binny has taken over all operational responsibilities, Sachin as the new executive chairman will provide strategic direction for Flipkart, mentor the senior leadership of the company and look for new investment opportunities.

Business Of Giving
Reed Hastings is spending money on more than just streaming content. The Netflix CEO launched a $100-million philanthropic fund aimed at supporting education groups and initiatives. The Hastings Fund’s first gift of $1.5 million will go to the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley “to provide students of colour with exceptional post-secondary educational experiences,” according to the fund’s website.

Ace Runner
Adidas named Kasper Rorsted, currently CEO of consumer products company Henkel, to replace its long-serving chief, Herbert Hainer, who will stand down six months ahead of schedule in September. Rorsted, 53, will take charge on 1 October. His appointment brings to an end a search launched last February, after a difficult 18 months for Adidas during which it was forced to issue two profits warnings and lost ground to US rival, Nike, in the battle for dominance of the global sportswear market.

Crude Reality
Oil’s plunge and the impact on the global economy is hurting many a billionaire. Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani isn’t one of them. Reliance Industries, controlled by Ambani, is benefiting from low crude prices as margins swell at the company’s refining complex, the world’s largest. Ambani’s net worth increased $620 million as of 15 January 2016, the most in the world in 2016, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Showing The Way
For the third time in a row, Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, emerged the most generous Indian of the year with donations worth Rs 27,514 crore to the education sector, says Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015. The 70-year-old, in fact, contributed about 80 per cent of total donations made by 36 Indian philanthropists who together gave away nearly Rs 35,000 crore. Azim Premji foundation works in the education sector with operations in eight states and over 3,50,000 schools. The top five contributors on the list belonged to the information technology industry.

In Driver’s Seat
Tata Motors long search for a CEO ended with the appointment of Guenter Butschek, formerly chief operating officer at Airbus Group, as its CEO and managing director. The post was vacant for two years, since Karl Slym, the then MD, committed suicide in January 2014. Butschek, 55, will lead all operations in India and Indonesia among other markets.

Paying Back
PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi has been revealed to be the biggest alumni donor of her alma mater Yale University, and also the first woman to endow deanship at the top business school. She reportedly gifted an undisclosed amount to Yale School of Management and inaugurated the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund. With this gift, Nooyi becomes the “most generous graduate” of Yale School of Management in terms of lifetime giving to the school.

Firing It Up
Brendan Eich, co-founder and former CEO of Mozilla, made a comeback with a new browser called “Brave” that blocks outside online ads and ad tracking. An early version of the new web browser was released that displays websites quickly by replacing programmatic ads with its own ad inventory. The browser is now available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 08-02-2016)