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Rakuten Viki names CEO

Streaming service Rakuten Viki has promoted from within to name its new CEO.

Sam Wu

Sam Wu, previously senior VP of finance, will take over from interim CEO Masaya Ueno, who is to assume a new role leading Rakuten’s global media business group.

Ueno took on the temporary position at Rakuten Viki this summer following the exit of former CEO Joanne Wage, who in turn had replaced Tammy H Nam a year earlier.

Having joined Viki in 2012, Wu played a key role in leading the acquisition of the Singapore-based VoD service’s acquisition by Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten the following year, working across all aspects of finance, legal, business operations and sales.

Wu said he had “a renewed focus on delivering innovative product features, an unmatched user experience and a diverse programming line-up” to the company’s “growing, global community.”

Makoto Arima, president of Rakuten’s Media and Sports Company, said Wu’s “intimate understanding of the business today, combined with his insights into the market as a whole, ideally position him to lead the team toward further growth.”

Rakuten Viki offers Asian series and originals such as Dramaworld, with shows translated into more than 200 languages by a community of fans. It claims to reach more than 40 million users in 190-plus countries via Rakuten Viki and its Korean entertainment brand, Soompi.

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