A top executive at a Singapore firm seeking to buy Newcastle United has quit after police launched a probe into his activities, the company said Wednesday, the latest turmoil for the bid.
Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in “advanced talks” to buy the English Premier League team.
But the bid became mired in controversy over allegations that photos had been doctored to show the trio meeting with former US president Barack Obama, and other inconsistent claims.
Police then began investigating a company linked to Singaporean co-founders Terence and Nelson Loh, after an accounting firm lodged a report over unauthorised signatures on the group’s financial statements.
BN Group said in a statement that Terence Loh has now quit the firm to try and resolve the issues related to the police probe into Novena Global Healthcare.
Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper previously reported that he denied wrongdoing.
The statement also stressed that BN Group is not “linked to Novena Global Healthcare and its forged financial statements”.
Despite growing doubts about the bid, the firm’s Chinese co-founder Evangeline Shen insisted last week BN Group was still serious about the plan.
She said the company’s team recently met a representative of Newcastle’s owner to discuss the bid, reported to be worth 280 million pounds ($360 million).
BN Group’s bid came after a Saudi-backed consortium withdrew its offer to buy Newcastle in late July, following a months-long wait for Premier League approval.
The company has said it oversees 31 business “entities” worldwide, with a group revenue of $12 billion last year and 23,000 employees.
Regulators have also announced investigations into several firms linked to the Lohs, who are cousins.
Former Warner Bros. TV president Susan Rovner, who left the company Oct. 2, is heading to NBCUniversal to head up entertainment content for all platforms, the company said today. Her title is chairman, entertainment content of NBCUniversal television and streaming.
Rovner, who spent more than two decades at Warner Bros., will oversee programming for the entire NBCU portfolio, which includes broadcast network NBC, basic cable networks USA, Bravo, E!, Syfy, Oxygen and new streaming service Peacock. Her entertainment programming division consists of separate content groups for scripted, unscripted, late-night and alternative programming.
“Susan is the bold creative force we need as we rethink the future of our business,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCU television and streaming, in a statement. “Throughout this process I have been consistently impressed by her strong perspective, track record of success and passion for content. Susan joins a great team that is poised to begin a new era at NBCU.”
Even though news broke of Rovner’s new role in early September, and she announced her exit to Warner Bros. staff soon after, explaining in a memo that she was going “to start a new chapter in my career,” NBCUniversal had declined to confirm she would be joining the company until today.
“NBCU has a deep-rooted tradition of having the best programming from visionary creators, and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to join this incredible organization as it builds on that legacy to head into the future,” said Rovner in a statement.
Nearly two months ago (Aug. 6), new NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell unveiled a major TV and streaming reorganization he had first teased during Comcast’s July earnings call. The new structure created three horizontally integrated units, all of which will report to Mark Lazarus, who was promoted in May as part of an
SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are all the rage right now, and people are emerging from all corners to raise them.
Among the latest entrants — and someone who might be of interest to Silicon Valley watchers — is Emil Michael, a former Uber executive and top lieutenant to former CEO Travis Kalanick. Earlier today, Micheal registered plans with the SEC to raise $250 million in an IPO for a blank-check company that will broadly acquire a company in the tech sector.
IPO Edge had reported earlier today that the SPAC might be in the works.
The filing lists as special advisors Alphabet’s former executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and Betsy Atkins, a founder of Ascend Communications and investor who has served on so many boards that last year she wrote a book about it. Indeed, among her other roles currently, she’s on the boards of Volvo, Wynn Resorts, and Oyo Hotels.
Michael was as senior vice president of field operations at Tellme Networks, then later served as COO of the startup Klout before landing at Uber, where he was a senior vice president for business for nearly four years.
He gained prominence in the role, but also some disrepute after he publicly made comments about hiring opposition researchers to quite journalists critical of the company and following a later report that he had attended an “escort bar” in Seoul with other Uber executives, including Kalanick. Indeed, when he left the company in 2017, Uber declined to say if he left of his own accord.
Despite — or perhaps even because of — his trajectory at Uber, Michael was reportedly vetted at one point for the position of Secretary of Transportation after Donald Trump was elected president. Now, he apparently sees a way to jump back into tech by using
Facebook has tapped a longtime member of the company’s growth team to be its new chief marketing officer.
The social network has promoted Alex Schultz as its new CMO. He’ll replace Antonio Lucio, who announced his departure last month to focus on consulting other marketing companies on diversity issues. Schultz, who has been vice president of growth and analytics, joined Facebook in 2007 as an analyst before rising through the ranks to become a manager and director and then a VP in 2014. Prior to joining the company, he was a marketing manager at Ebay. Schultz’s new CMO title, announced today, is effective immediately.
Schultz has also spent the past four years working on Facebook’s brand safety issues through improving its community standards and independent code of conduct report with the European Commission. Promoting Schultz rather than bringing in a traditional CMO from an outside brand could be a sign that Facebook is trying to integrate brand safety deeper into its marketing as the company continues to deal with issues related to data privacy and hate speech. Schultz has also spent 2020 working on infrastructure projects related to issues of public health and misinformation around Covid-19.
As a part of the change in leadership, Facebook’s consumer marketing team will now fall under Schultz even while he continues his current role of leading the company’s analytics, product growth and internationalization initiatives. He’ll report to Javier Olian, Facebook’s vice president of growth, while chief product officer Chris Cox will maintain creative oversight.
In a Facebook post