Hires & Promotions: Essence, JustDial, ByteDance, Netflix

Here is a quick look at new hirings, promotions & people movements this week

Sonali Malaviya To Lead Essence India As Managing Director

Essence has appointed Sonali Malaviya as the agency’s Managing Director for India. She will be responsible for leading continued client-centric innovation in data, analytics and technology, as well as business growth and company culture for the agency in the market. 

Based out of Delhi, Malaviya will report to Essence APAC CEO, T. Gangadhar (Gangs) and GroupM South Asia CEO, Prasanth Kumar (PK). She will join Essence’s APAC leadership team and GroupM India’s executive committee as part of her role. Anand Chakravarthy, previously Managing Director for Essence India, has moved on from the agency to pursue new opportunities. 

Joining Essence in 2018, Malaviya most recently led the agency’s Google business in India and Southeast Asia as Senior Vice President, Client Services. Previously, she served as Chief Operating Officer at Colorbar Cosmetics and Country Marketing Lead at Twitter in India. With over 20 years of industry experience, she has also held senior roles at Mindshare, PHD, Roy Morgan Research and MediaCom in India, the United Arab Emirates and Australia. 

“Sonali comes with rich experience in management, marketing and media across industries and markets, as well as a deep understanding of Essence’s business, work, people and culture. In addition to building strong, collaborative partnerships with clients and employees alike, she is an advocate of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. India continues to be a priority for Essence in APAC and globally, and with Sonali at the helm, I am very excited about our next phase of growth and development in the market,” said Gangs. “We would also like to thank Anand for his efforts in helping to establish our business in India over the last three years. We greatly appreciate his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors.” 

“We are glad to see Sonali take over the role of Essence India Managing Director. With her background and significant achievements, she will add to the capabilities of Essence and work with our teams to improve the client experience. As we continue to develop leaders internally, Sonali is also part of our growing pool of talent taking on various leadership roles across GroupM India. I look forward to working with Sonali and leveraging her expertise,” said PK. 

“I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to lead Essence in India. Over the past three years, I have witnessed and been part of our incredible growth story in this market, and am very proud of what our agency, clients and employees have achieved together. I am looking forward to partnering with our highly talented teams and leveraging our industry-leading capabilities to help even more brands in India achieve data-driven growth and transformation, as well as valuable connections with consumers,” said Malaviya.

ByteDance Founder Zhang Yiming Steps Down As CEO

ByteDance's global CEO Zhang Yiming will be stepping down from his role. Appointed co-founder and human resource chief Liang Rubo will take his place. 

The company said that Yiming will be focusing on long-term strategy after he steps down. 

Yiming's resignation comes close on the heels of other rejigs within the company when Shou Zi Chew, the CFO was renamed the CEO of TikTok. 

His resignation follows an internal executive shake-up in April when Shou Zi Chew, ByteDance’s chief financial officer, was named CEO of TikTok Singapore. 

Last week, Nikhil Gandhi, the erstwhile TikTok India CEO and recently redesignated head for ME, Africa, Turkey & South Asia, reportedly quit the ByteDance-owned video platform.

Prasun Kumar Joins Justdial As CMO

Justdial has recently appointed Prasun Kumar as its new CMO, previously with Magicbricks. At Magicbricks, Prasun worked as the Head of Marketing, Revenue verticals, Content and Public relations.

Announcing the appointment, Justdial Founder and CEO V.S.S. Mani, said: "We welcome Prasun on board as we build a new exciting future for Justdial. We recently launched our B2B marketplace platform, JD Mart, which has received an overwhelming response both from businesses and users. Prasun and his team shall focus on increasing awareness about JD and JD Mart platforms among every Indian and work towards growing our user base. I am confident that our marketing efforts will drive our growth agenda strongly under Prasun's experience and leadership."

Prasun Kumar said, "I am excited to join Justdial. The brand has touched the life of almost every Indian at some point. Its massive scale will give me an opportunity to drive innovation, better consumer experiences and create campaigns to spearhead the growth."

With an experience of around 23 years in the industry, Prasun has worked with different companies at various roles such as Reliance Communications as Senior Vice President for more than two years, Sony Mobile Communications as Head - Marketing for 2 years, MTS as director - brand and Marcom, Levi's Strauss as Head - Brand Activation, Madison Communications as Associate Director and McCann Worldgroup as Manager for around six years.

Sebamed's Konark Gaur resigns as Head of Marketing

Konark Gaur, marketing head at Sebamed, has resigned from his post.

Gaur was associated with the German soapmaker since May 2019. Before that, he was the regional marketing manager for Asia with General Mills.

He also founded hijinny.com, a hyper-local, mobile marketplace for beauty professionals and Jazz Up Salon.

Nanjappa Palekanda Named VP - Talent Experience & Operations At Netflix

Netflix has named Nanjappa Palekanda as Vice President, Experience and Operations.

With 18 years of experience, Nanjappa has worked with big names, including Infosys, Uber and Google. His expertise lies in HR Service Delivery, M&A, Risk & Compliance and Portfolio Management for the People function.

On his appointment, he wrote, “I am grateful for the incredible professionals and amazing well-wishers I have come across throughout my career - Infosys, Google and Uber. I now head into an exciting new adventure at Netflix, with the same drive to work with amazing people. During this special personal moment, I would like to urge all my well-wishers to spare a positive thought/action in support of all those in India (or those who have loved ones in India), who are braving the heart-breaking situation brought upon by the pandemic. There's loss and suffering for sure, but there are also numerous everyday heroes, going out of their way to support others, many of whom they have never met before.”