Vodafone Australia appoints consumer business unit director to replace CMO
Vodafone Australia has promoted its director of sales, Ben McIntosh, to the newly created position of consumer business unit (CBU) director.
Chief executive officer Iñaki Berroeta said the new position merges the existing sales director and marketing director roles, following a decision by chief marketing officer Loo Fun Chee to return to Malaysia for family.
“This new unit will see sales and marketing activities come under one leader and one team, creating a streamlined structure and simple and seamless end-to-end processes” said Berroeta.
“The consumer business unit will drive our ambition to deliver the very best product, service and experience for our customers. Ben will bring great energy, experience and market knowledge to the role.”
He said Vodafone’s brand had seen improvements in its awareness since Chee took on the leadership role two years ago.
“Amongst the successes under her leadership are the launch of innovative market leading products such as MyMix. We’ve also seen the Vodafone brand strengthen in the Australian market and a dramatic improvement in Net Promoter Score which shows our customers are increasingly happy with their Vodafone experience,” the executive commented.
McIntosh joined Vodafone Australia in 2014 as director of sales after a 17-year career at consumer products retailer Harvey Norman as general manager for technology and entertainment retail.
McIntosh will officially start in his new role as CBU director on January 30.
Former Microsoft executive and AI expert joins Baidu
Chinese search giant Baidu has hired former Microsoft executive Dr Qi Lu as its group president and chief operating officer, effective immediately.
In this new role, Lu will be responsible for Baidu’s products, technology, sales, marketing and operations.
Lu joins Baidu from Microsoft, where he served most recently as global executive vice president responsible for its Office business. He joined Microsoft in 2009 as president of its online services group and was promoted to global EVP in 2013.
Lu holds a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and has over 40 US patents in his name.
"Dr. Lu possesses a wealth of leadership and management experience, and is a leading authority in the area of artificial intelligence. I am confident that Dr. Lu will make major contributions to the overall strength of our management and technology,” Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and group CEO, said in a statement.
“To achieve our goals, especially in artificial intelligence, which is a key strategic focus for the next decade, we will need to continue attracting the best global talent. With Dr. Lu on board, we are confident that our strategy will be executed smoothly and Baidu will become a world-class technology company and global leader in AI," Li added.