September 24, 2008

Friendster Hires Google’s Kimber As Global CEO

By Lim, Kenny

GLOBAL Friendster has appointed Google's regional MD for South Asia, Richard Kimber, as its new global CEO, succeeding Kent Lindstrom, who has run the social networking site since 2006. Kimber was selected based on his success in growing Google's revenue in Asia-Pacific, opening offices in Singapore and Auckland, and expanding the search engine firm's Australian and Korean businesses. Prior to Google, Kimber served as global head of e-marketing and CEO of HSBC internet payment in the US."Friendster is growing at an enormous rate in Asia-Pacific and is clearly leading the competition. I believe this is partly because the internet is transforming the lives of everyone, and it will probably become one of the greatest liberators of our time," said Kimber.

"With more than 75 million. users, Friendster has already made a dramatic impact. I look forward to growing our business further as we continue our global growth."

Separately, Friendster has secured US$20 million in financing through investments from IDG Ventures, a global network of venture capital funds, to enable it to expand in Asia while growing its global user base.

Russ Siegelman, a partner at investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and board chairman for Friendster,said the site would use the funding to focus on user growth, greater user engagement and monetisation. He said it would use "new features, new offerings, localisation and marketing."

Kimber... targeting growth

Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. Aug 21, 2008

(c) 2008 Media; Asia's Newspaper for Media, Marketing and Advertising. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.