AppointmentsOktaOkta, the leading independent identity provider, announced that it has appointed tech industry executive Stephanie Barnett as its Vice President of Presales for the Asia-Pacific & Japan (APJ) region.

Barnett will lead Okta's team of solution engineers, system architects and technical specialists across the APJ region, assisting the sales team in acquiring and supporting customers and generating growth. Barnett will also oversee pre-sales operations and drive Okta's scaled strategic, enterprise-wide go-to-market initiatives.

Barnett brings with her nearly 15 years of experience in the tech industry, having served across various leadership roles in sales, solution engineering and business development at IBM, Salesforce and Cloudflare.

Barnett was most recently Vice President and Chief of Staff for Asia Pacific, Japan & China at Cloudflare, where she developed go-to-market strategies to drive new market expansion, supported sales growth, and nurtured key customer relationships.

Prior to that, Barnett rose through the ranks during her nine-year tenure at Salesforce to be appointed as Director, Emerging Solution Engineering APAC. In this role, it was imperative that Barnett developed deep working relationships with customers across various industries, understood unique customer requirements and their pain points, anticipated their needs and thereafter developed industry-leading innovative solutions with her team of technology experts.

Based in Singapore, Barnett holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, Spanish and German from the University of Sydney, as well as a Masters of Innovation and Technology Management, Strategic Management of Risk from the University of New South Wales.

AppointmentsRobertWaltersSpecialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters announces the appointment of Kimberlyn Lu as the new Chief Executive Officer for South East Asia. She takes overall responsibility for Robert Walters’ operations across the Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines markets.

Prior to her appointment, Kimberlyn held the position of Managing Director of Robert Walters Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. Her journey with Robert Walters started in 2008 as a Consultant for the Sales and Marketing Division in Malaysia. Over the years, Kimberlyn has expanded her business responsibilities to take on multiple leadership roles across various specializations and markets. She was appointed the Country Manager of Robert Walters Malaysia in 2017.

Kimberlyn’s remit will include deepening the company’s established presence, which has spanned up to 25 years in the Southeast Asian region, to provide solutions to organizations willing to hire in various functions and industries across the SEA key markets all together. Through value-added services, in areas such as market intelligence and ESG support, she will focus on enabling companies and professionals alike to make sound people and business decisions. Kimberlyn will continue to be based in the Malaysian office.

This senior appointment also reinforces the existing gender diversity within Robert Walters’ South East Asia leadership team (57% of the leadership team are now female leaders).

With a well-established strategy that has underpinned growth since its first office opened in London in 1985, Robert Walters now operates in 31 countries with 84% of its revenue deriving from its non-UK businesses.

AppointmentsKantarKantar is pleased to announce the senior leadership appointment of Kartikeya (Kartik) Varma to lead its Media and Creative solutions expertise for clients in Singapore and APAC.

Kartik takes on the dual role of Head of Creative and Media – Singapore and Head of Media – APAC. He will be working closely with platforms, publishers, and media owners to deliver a seamless fusion of creative, media, analytics, and consulting services to help them drive new opportunities in marketing, publishing and ad sales.

Kartik has joined the Kantar business already and is based in Singapore.

AppointmentsNowCommsAsiaNow Comms Asia, a leading corporate production house headquartered in Singapore for over two decades, has announced the appointment of Branson Veal as its new Creative Director. Veal's exceptional creative prowess, extensive accolades, and industry leadership make him the ideal candidate to spearhead Now Comms Asia's innovative vision and drive transformative campaigns that leave a lasting impact.

With a trailblazing career marked by a string of prestigious awards, including recognition at the Cannes Festival, The One Show, and Communication Arts, Branson Veal has solidified his reputation as a visionary force in the advertising industry. His ability to blend artistry, strategy, and compelling storytelling has garnered him global acclaim, establishing him as a sought-after creative talent.

Now Comms Asia's decision to bring Veal on board as Creative Director represents a strategic move to further elevate the agency's creative capabilities and deliver unforgettable experiences for clients in the business-to-business arena. Veal's expertise in crafting immersive campaigns that captivate and engage audiences aligns perfectly with the agency's commitment to pushing boundaries and redefining experiential advertising.

Branson Veal's appointment at Now Comms Asia has generated considerable excitement among industry professionals, clients, and peers. As he takes on this pivotal role, Veal is poised to bring a fresh perspective and infuse innovative thinking.

AnnouncementsAllionLabsAllion Labs, a renowned technology testing and certification company, announced its new designation as an Authorized Vendor Test Lab (AVL) for OpenSync certification.

Through this strategic partnership Allion and Plume will provide Allion customers efficient integration for rapid deployment of Plume's innovative cloud-based platform for connected home services – expediting time to market.

Plume Design, Inc., a global leader in intelligent Wi-Fi and smart home services, has chosen Allion as a Plume-trusted partner to expand Plume's certification program. Allion's extensive experience in testing and validating cutting-edge technologies, coupled with Allion's state-of-the-art facilities and expert engineers, make Allion an ideal fit for the rigorous requirements of OpenSync certification.

As an AVL for OpenSync certification, Allion will provide comprehensive testing services to manufacturers seeking OpenSync certification for their Wi-Fi systems and connected devices. By leveraging their advanced testing methodologies and industry-leading equipment, Allion is committed to ensuring that Plume-certified products meet the highest standards of performance, reliability, and interoperability.

OpenSync certification offers manufacturers the opportunity to differentiate their products in the market by showcasing their compatibility with Plume's innovative platform. Certified products will benefit from the industry-leading features of the Plume cloud, such as AI-driven optimization, advanced cybersecurity, and personalized home services. This collaboration between Allion and Plume will empower manufacturers to create connected home solutions that deliver delightful user experiences.

Manufacturers interested in OpenSync certification can now access Allion's specialized testing services to ensure their products meet Plume's stringent requirements for certification. With Allion's state-of-the-art laboratories and dedicated engineers, manufacturers can accelerate their time to market and gain a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving connected home industry.

AnnouncementsSERSER, a leader in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Content Services market, has announced a strategic partnership with Helix International, the industry-leading software platform and services solutions provider for legacy application retirements and enterprise content migrations.

The partnership combines Helix's MARS platform with SER's AI-powered Doxis Intelligent Content Automation platform. The result is the fastest and most secure solution for enterprises seeking to cut licensing fees, close data centers, and improve customer satisfaction without interrupting operations.

Helix International has over 20 years of experience in retiring legacy licenses with a flawless track record of 500+ successful projects, while SER's Doxis leads the Forrester Wave™: Content Platforms, Q1 2023 report. Many of the world's leading Fortune 500 banks, insurance companies, health care organizations, big retail companies, distributors, government entities, and more trust Helix and SER with their data and security.

AppointmentsAppierAppier Group Co., Ltd. announced the appointment of Taisuke Nishikawa as its Vice President of Strategic Finance, with effect from May this year.

In this role, Nishikawa will continue to leverage his investor relations expertise to foster positive investor relationships in the fast-growing artificial intelligence market and will also play an important role in Appier's overall business growth by overseeing the company's financial strategies to strengthen its leading position as an AI-SaaS company.

Nishikawa joined Appier as Head of Investor Relations in April 2022 and has been responsible for information disclosure and corporate governance while strengthening Appier's corporate messages for investors. In December 2022, Nishikawa played a key role in the upgrade of Appier's listing segment to the Prime Market on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

He brings a wealth of experience in the financial services industry that spans over 25 years. After graduating from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor of Law, Nishikawa embarked on his career at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (now Mitsubishi UFJ Bank), focusing mainly in the corporate banking division.

After transitioning to Nomura Securities, he played a pivotal role in fundraising from the equity capital markets for major corporations. With assignments in Nomura's Hong Kong and U.K. subsidiaries, Nishikawa successfully executed numerous global offering projects, including IPOs for Asian companies. He was recently the CEO and co-founder at an investment management firm, overseeing crucial asset management activities for clients.

AppointmentsBeLiveBeLive Technology, a leading solutions provider of live and video commerce technology, announced the appointment of Vishwak Sinva to lead the business in India and the Middle East.

This new addition is set to strengthen its current management team as the company continues its growth plan globally. Vishwak has over 20 years of experience in media and marketing, including a decade in digital development.

Prior to joining BeLive, Vishwak was leading growth and strategy for Firework India. Before that, Vishwak served as Lead, Digital Revenue of ETV Digital and Senior Manager, Digital Product and Revenue Strategy of Hotstar India.

As the key personnel leading growth and strategy of Firework India, Vishwak successfully established Firework's brand and service with relationships with major enterprises like Unilever & ITC, and with innovative D2C brands like Sugar, Mama Earth, The Man Company amongst others to help grow the adoption of video commerce in India.

Vishwak received a Bachelor of Commerce, International Business from Nizam College, Osmania University, Hyderabad and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from The Times School of Marketing, New Delhi.

ABPCyber, the premier cybersecurity service provider in Southeast Asia and subsidiary of ABPGroup, announced the inauguration of its state-of-the-art Cyber Fusion Centre.

The Cyber Fusion Centre stands as an emblem of technological advancement, harnessing the latest tools, techniques, and expertise to deliver comprehensive cybersecurity services across diverse market segments, including sectors such as finance, utilities, healthcare, education, transportation, telecommunications, government, and large enterprises.

Distinguished by its multi-dimensional approach, the Cyber Fusion Centre surpasses conventional security operation centres by seamlessly integrating 24/7 security operations, advanced threat detection, in-depth investigation and response capabilities, robust vulnerability management, security controls validation, proactive threat hunting, and security automation. This fusion of capabilities equips organisations with an unparalleled defense against sophisticated cyber threats, ensuring uninterrupted operations and safeguarding valuable digital assets.

Xtend, a provider of futuristic marketing technologies, announce the appointment of Muralidharan as its new Chief Commercial Officer, effective immediately.

Murali, an industry veteran with over a decade of experience in digital marketing and programmatic strategy, will be based in Singapore and oversee the commercial aspects of the company.

Murali joins Xtend from Shopee, where he held the position of Head of Partnerships and Programmatic. In this role, he successfully established a centralized programmatic function for the company, built a highly skilled group of professionals, and managed digital marketing budgets across regional and local online marketing initiatives. Murali's expertise in driving operational excellence and managing cross-functional collaborations is expected to bring significant value to Xtend's operations.

Xtend's AI-first retargeting engine and innovative marketing solutions have garnered significant attention from global ecommerce partners such as Tokopedia and Lazada. The Xtend allows for more accurate prediction of user behavior, anticipating their next engagement with a brand. Xtend also offers a platform-agnostic plug and play solution such as SHOPit to create a more native environment for users to interact with ecommerce offers outside their core platforms.

Murali's appointment comes at an exciting time for Xtend as the company expands its reach and continues to revolutionize the marketing technology landscape. As the new Chief Commercial Officer, Murali will play a crucial role in driving Xtend's growth and success in the coming years.

AppointmentsAVIACorporate communications and branding media veteran Gregory Ho has been appointed Senior Advisor with the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA).

In this full-time role, Ho will support AVIA CEO Louis Boswell and work closely with the teams in Singapore and Hong Kong, focusing particularly on the curation of AVIA events and conferences as well as membership development and engagement. He will continue to be based in Singapore.

The AVIA membership includes key players in every segment across the entire video industry and eco-system in Asia Pacific and facilitates opportunities for members to engage through a series of activities including 8 industry conferences in 2023 as well as a select number of bespoke member events.

Ho most recently spent 9 years with Warner Bros. Discovery in Hong Kong and Singapore where he led Corporate Communications and Marketing for the media and entertainment conglomerate’s entire portfolio of brands, services and businesses as well as Warner Bros., CNN, Cartoon Network and HBO, across Asia Pacific. He also had a long spell with Sony Pictures Entertainment – which included leadership roles overseeing Marketing, Communications, Ad Sales, Research, Channel Management and Operations for its networks in Asia. He began his career with positions at CNBC Asia and Mediacorp Singapore.

AppointmentsStraiveStraive, a leader in delivering technology-driven data/AI solutions for EdTech, Research, and Information Services to leading global organizations, announced the appointment of Ankor Rai, an experienced data technology leader, as its Chief Executive Officer. Straive is owned by BPEA EQT, part of EQT Group, a purpose-driven global investment organization focused on active ownership strategies.

Ankor succeeds Ratan Datta, who led Straive for over a decade, with the last seven years as President and CEO. Effective May 1, Ratan will assume the role of Vice Chairman to support the transition to Ankor and will continue to be a member of Straive's board of directors. He joins Straive from EXL, where he was a member of the Executive Committee and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. Over 20+ years, Ankor has led the growth of high-value data-led tech businesses by developing high-impact solutions for Fortune 1000 companies across North America, the UK, and Asia. Ankur helped grow EXL's Analytics business from a niche analytics practice into a full-stack analytics powerhouse. Before that, he was a partner at Inductis, one of the original pioneers of data and analytics in the industry.