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Volume 6 No. 266

People and Pop Culture

Twitch co-Founder & COO KEVIN LIN is "stepping down from his role," and will be replaced by former Pandora COO SARA CLEMENS. Also joining the Twitch team is new SVP, Head of Platforms & Services MARK WEILER from Rubicon Project and Slack's AMIR SHEVAT, the new VP of developer experience (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 1/18). ... Kent County Cricket Club appointed PAUL DOWNTON as its new director of cricket. The 60-year-old was managing director of the England & Wales Cricket Board from Feb. '14 to Apr. '15. Downton, who played for Kent from '77-80, "will be responsible for overseeing all cricket activities across all age groups, including recruitment of coaches and playing staff and player development" (BBC, 1/18). ... ESPN announced MIKE MORRISON, who has led the company's businesses in APAC since '08, will take over as VP, ESPN Business Development in the U.S., reporting to EVP of Affiliate Sales & Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks JUSTIN CONNOLLY. Consequently, SVP, Int'l Programming, Production & Marketing TIM BUNNELL will add regional responsibilities to his functional roles, overseeing ESPN's businesses in China and North Asia, including its relationship with Tencent. Additionally, CHARLY CLASSEN will expand his role to VP & GM, EMEA, South Asia & Australia/New Zealand (ESPN).

COACHES/MANAGERS: Mexican Baseball League (LMB) club Sultanes de Monterrey named ROBERTO KELLY its manager in a deal that will run through '20. Kelly played for MLB teams including the N.Y. Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves (NOTIMEX, 1/17). ... La Liga side Espanyol named ROGER GUASCH its new director general. The club is restructuring its exec structure after the departure of CEO RAMÓN ROBERT (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 1/18). ... League One side Southend Manager PHIL BROWN is set to leave the club after he was placed on gardening leave, with the board citing "unacceptable performances from the team and a lack of discipline within the squad." Brown took over in March '13 (PA, 1/17).

Barcelona defender GERARD PIQUÉ agreed a contract extension until '22. The new deal includes a €500M ($611.4M) buyout clause. The Spain int'l, 30, has played 422 games for the Catalan club since rejoining from ManU in '08 (BBC, 1/18). ... STEVE SMITH won the Int'l Cricket Council's test player of the year award for a second time, but was "beaten to the top prize" by Indian VIRAT KOHLI, who earned ODI player of the year and overall player of '17 honors (AAP, 1/18). ... Cricketer BEN STOKES' England return "will be delayed once again," after he was summoned to court on the same day he was expected to play for England in New Zealand. Stokes has been called to appear at Bristol Magistrates Court on Feb. 13 "to answer charges of affray" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/18).