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Discovery hires McDonald’s exec in Asia rejig

Discovery Networks Asia Pacific has hired a senior exec from fast food brand McDonald’s as part of a restructure that sees Korea folded into a larger regional group.

Jay TrinidadJay Trindad (pictured) has been named senior VP and general manager of Discovery’s northeast Asia business.

Korean country manager Hee-Man Lee and his team will be folded into the new group, which will also include Japan. Discovery’s Japanese chief, Louis Boswell, will now lead the cable giant’s southeast Asia operations.

Trinidad will be based in Tokyo and report to managing director and president of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific Arthur Bastings, who himself rejoined the firm last year to fill the gap that opened when Arjen Hoekstra departed.

Hoekstra subsequently joined Vice Media to roll out its linear channel, Viceland, across Europe.

Trindad has a varied CV, having worked at search giant Google for ten years, recently leading a push to promote the Google Chrome browser in Asia; translation platform Gengo; and mobile payment gateway Square Inc.

He was most recently VP, digital at McDonald’s Japan, where he led strategy and increased customer engagement through digital initiatives.

At Discovery, he will focus on “delivering compelling brand experiences to the millennial audience by redefining Discovery’s suite of products”, the company said in a statement.

The hire highlights Discovery Communications’ company-wide bet on digital as a driver of business in coming years. International president J.B. Perrette in part landed his post thanks to his expertise in digital, having been on the launch team of US VOD platform Hulu.

“As we inject digital into our DNA, I am thrilled to have someone of Jay’s calibre join our team,” said Bastings. “His expertise in pure-play digital and consumer-centric innovation is invaluable as we evolve and take Discovery to the next stage of growth, particularly in northeast Asia, where we are looking to meaningfully invest and take full advantage of the region’s sophisticated and widespread wireless infrastructure.”