Wipro appoints new CEO: 32-year veteran and current US boss Srini Pallia takes over

Plus: YouTube's fake India election ad policy; Singtel not selling Optus; Do Chinese tech stalk former workers?

ASIA IN BRIEF Wipro on Friday named Srini Pallia as its leader, effective immediately, after previous boss Thierry Delaporte stepped down "to pursue passions outside the workplace."

Delaporte took the top job at Wipro in 2020 – when the business had grown more slowly than its direct rivals Infosys, HCL and TCS.

The Capgemini veteran quickly promised an obsession for growth and largely delivered – partly through acquisitions such as the 2021 buy of UK-based consultancy Capco.

Delaporte's replacement Srini Pallia is a 32-year Wipro veteran who was leading its Americas arm until last week.

A canned statement from Wipro features company chair Rishad Premji describing Pallia as "an ideal leader to lead Wipro at this pivotal moment for our company and industry.

"Over the past four years, Wipro has undergone a major transformation under the most challenging external conditions. Srini has been an integral part of this journey. His client-centric approach, growth mindset, strong execution focus, and his commitment to Wipro's values, make him the perfect fit as we enter the next chapter of growth and profitability," Premji stated.

Wipro will announce its Q4 and full year results for 2023/24 next Friday, giving Pallia an ideal platform to introduce himself and his plans.

– Simon Sharwood

Ahead of India's elections, YouTube admits it approves bad ads – but may never run them

Two nonprofits have called into question YouTube policies regarding false election information.

An investigation from digital civil rights nonprofit Access Now and international NGO Global Witness concluded YouTube approved multiple election disinformation ads for publication ahead of India's general election, which runs from April 19 to June 1.

The two orgs submitted 48 ads to YouTube in three official Indian languages – English, Hindi, and Telugu – and alleged all contained content prohibited by YouTube's elections misinformation policies.

"Despite YouTube's policy to review ad content before it can run, the platform approved every single ad for publication," claimed Global Witness.

A Google spokesperson told The Register that none of the ads ever ran and the approval was just one of multiple compliance layers ads must go through before appearing.

"Just because an ad passes an initial technical check does not mean it won't be blocked or removed by our enforcement systems if it violates our policies," they added.

AccessNow has called the policy of not adequately reviewing content for policy breaches upfront in favor of removing it later "dangerous and irresponsible in an election period, where an ad can be published within hours of submission."

"Once an ad is live, the damage is done – especially given YouTube's extensive reach," said the org.

Calm down – Singtel won't sell Optus.

Singapore-based telecommunications giant Singel clarified last week it has no current plans to sell its Australian-based subsidiary, Optus, after reports emerged that it had called quits on talks to divest a 20 percent stake in the telco.

A Singtel statement [PDF] followed some wobbling of its share price.

"Given the movement in Singtel's share price this morning, the Group would like to advise shareholders of Singtel and potential investors to exercise caution in their review of any media reports relating to Optus in the absence of any definitive announcements when dealing with the shares of the company," advised Singtel.

"The Group would like to reiterate that there is no impending deal to divest Optus which remains a strategic and integral part of the Singtel Group," it added.

Multiple Chinese tech players reportedly stalking former employees

A report last week alleged that Chinese tech businesses have used surveillance – including stalking and spying – to catch former employees that may be acting against noncompete agreements.

"Pinduoduo, Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, JD.com and Baidu have all monitored and videotaped former employees from the moment they left their residential compounds until they reached their new workplaces, according to hundreds of court documents viewed by Nikkei," stated the media outlet. The surveillance reportedly can continue for between one and two weeks and is presented as evidence in court against the former employee.

The publication alleged that non-compete agreements have "become pervasive in China and are evolving into powerful tools for companies like Pinduoduo, Tencent, ByteDance, Baidu, EV battery giant CATL and others to prevent even junior workers from jumping to rival employers."

The length of time a former employee is expected to avoid potentially conflicting employment can leave them out of the workforce so long that they have difficulty re-entering their chosen line of work.

Samsung projects massive operating profit rise

Samsung Electronics announced earnings guidance last Friday and predicted operating profit will have increased a whopping 931 percent year-on-year – from 2023's ₩0.64 trillion (~$500 million) to ₩6.5–6.7 trillion (~$4.9 billion).

Samsung did not offer reasons for the leap, but the Korean mammoth is scheduled to release its official Q1 2024 earnings report on April 30. The Register imagines surging demand for its memory products will be one factor behind the improved performance.

APAC Dealbook

Recent alliances and deals spotted by The Register across the region last week include:

  • PhonePe, a major payment app company in India, entered a two-year agreement to promote Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments in Singapore.

    The agreement builds upon an existing linkage that enables instant cross border transactions and will see joint marketing from the Singapore Tourism Board and PhonePe.

  • Japan's industry ministry reportedly approved ¥590 billion ($3.9 billion) worth of subsidies to domestic semiconductor manufacturer Rapidus.

    A chunk of the funds (¥$53.5 billion) will go to enhancing Rapidus's advanced packaging capabilities.

  • Japanese tech services outfit NTT Data signed an MOU with Singapore's Cyber Security Agency to "strengthen and boost the country's cyber defense efforts."

    The details of the partnership were vague, but NTT Data revealed the agreement "aims to facilitate discussions on cyber security collaboration" and will "engage in regular reviews to assess opportunities, risks, and challenges associated with emerging technologies like AI and quantum security."


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