Television

Senior Compaq executive to take over as Media Lab Asia CEO

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Media Lab Asia based on digital wizard Nicholas Negroponte legendary MIT Media Lab, has got a new CEO and managing director with its board announcing the appointment of Bimal Sareen. Sareen was earlier director of business & corporate development for Compaq (now Hewlett Packard) Asia-Pacific and Greater China regions. Additionally, he is also the regional president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

Said Media Lab Asia chairman and the Indian government's Union Minister of Communications & Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs Pramod Mahajan: "We are very pleased to have Bimal lead Media Lab Asia. This is an important venture for us that advances our goal of delivering the benefits of information and communications technology to the masses of India, the rest of Asia, indeed the entire Media Lab network. I would like to express our full confidence and support to him".

Added Media Lab Asia vice-chairman Negroponte: "Bimal's appointment is a milestone for Media Lab Asia. We are excited about his appointment as the leader of this venture, especially with his blend of technology and business, and international and Asia experience."

Sareen, educated in the United States, has extensive experience in the US and Asia in international business, technology, marketing, investments and mergers & acquisitions. In addition to India and the US, he has conducted business in Australia, Greater China, Israel, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

"I am very excited," said Sareen. "This is a unique and challenging opportunity to foster innovation, and deliver the value of information, communication and media technologies to the masses traditionally under-served by their benefits. This massive segment, traditionally ignored by most corporations and countries, will gain increasing prominence."

Rajeeva Ratna Shah, India's secretary of information technology in the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, said, "This appointment is an important step for us at the Government of India. With Bimal, we finally have our choice of a seasoned industry professional with extensive international business and technology experience to lead this important venture. He has our complete support."

"We had a range of excellent candidates but finally narrowed our choice to Bimal. He had the right combination of management and technical skills we required," said Alex (Sandy) Pentland, director of Media Lab Asia and Toshiba professor at MIT.

Director, Media Lab Asia and former Vice Chairman, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) FC Kohli said, "It is rewarding for us to have Bimal appointed as a result of an extensive search. He enjoys our full support".

Sareen has been active in other industry bodies in the US, prior to his move to Asia in 1997. While working with Digital Equipment Corp in the US, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Interactive Multimedia Council (MIMC), and was Co-Chairman Marketing, International Committee at the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council (MTC). At the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Sareen has also held terms as Vice President, Chairman of the Finance, Information Technology & Infrastructure committees.

Sareen has an MBA and MS (Computer Engineering) from Boston University and a BS (Electrical Engineering) from Rutgers University. He was also granted a US patent in the field of High Speed Computer design during his tenure at Digital Equipment Corporation. Sareen is married and has two children.

Media Lab Asia is an initiative of the Indian government and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to facilitate the invention; refinement and dissemination of innovations that benefit the greatest number possible of the world's grassroots populations. The research is focused on four broad themes:Digital Village, Tomorrow's Tools, Bits for Everyone and the World Computer.

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