Octagon has reshuffled its senior management team with the appointment of 20-year company veteran JEFF EHRENKRANZ to managing director of Europe, Middle East and India. He will oversee operations and new business across the region. Ehrenkranz replaces GLENN LOVETT, who is leaving for a new career opportunity. Additionally, Octagon UK named TIM COLLINS and GARRY DODS co-managing directors. Collins will step up from VP, while Dods rejoins Octagon UK after two-and-a-half years as GM of Octagon Australia (Octagon). ... Adidas appointed ERICK HASKELL, former COO of its China operations, to head the India business "as it looks to move on" after last year's alleged Rs 870 crore ($160M) fraud by Reebok India. Haskell succeeds CLAUS HECKEROTT (PTI, 1/17). ... Red Bull Race Engineer CIARON PILBEAM "has stepped down from his postion." A Red Bull spokesperson said, "We confirm that Pilbeam has left the team to take on a new position at Lotus." Red Bull also announced the acquisition of SIMON RENNIE, who will become MARK WEBBER's new race engineer (AUTO BILD, 1/17).
COACHES/MANAGERS: Scottish Premier League club Dundee United has "confirmed that Manager PETER HOUSTON will leave the club at the end of the season." Houston "had been in talks with the Tannadice side over a new deal but has decided against extending his contract on reduced terms" (SCOTSMAN, 1/17).
With PEP GUARDIOLA now ready to coach Bayern Munich next season, the club could be interested in joining a number of other top European clubs looking to sign Santos striker NEYMAR (AS, 1/17). ... AC Milan and Real Madrid "have officially opened negotiations" to bring KAKA back to Milan (L'EQUIPE, 1/17). ... The Badminton Association of Malaysia "has agreed to appoint a new doubles coach but not a national coaching director." The BAM exec committee announced Indonesian PAULUS FIRMAN into its coaching setup. Doubles head coach TAN KIM HER "will decide on the role for Paulus," who will begin work on Feb. 1 (THE STAR, 1/17). ... Former Handball Federation of India Senior VP MD YASIN USTAD has died "after a prolonged illness at his Dhatkidih residence." The 105-year-old "had been inactive due to illness" since '96. Ustad "was the brain behind promoting handball in undivided Bihar for decades and guided the state team to the national championship title on various occasions (PTI, 1/17).