Facebook has appointed a country head for Singapore for the first time as the social network giant has named Sandhya Devanathan, a banker by background, as country director.
Devanathan spent 16 years of her career in the banking sector in emerging markets around the region before joining Facebook at the start of this year to run the company’s e-commerce, travel and financial services arm.
After just eight months in the role, she was named country director, and also has responsibility for Facebook’s e-commerce, travel and financial services division across Southeast Asia.
“I joined Facebook at the start of the year. I had a regional remit, looking at e-commerce, travel and financial services for Southeast Asia. Quickly my job expanded,” she told Mumbrella this afternoon.
“A few months ago we decided to open a new role – for the country director of Singapore. So, I still have a regional remit, because of lot of the financial services institutions here, all of them are regional in nature and cover Southeast Asia.”
Devanathan was MD of retail banking products at Standard Chartered Bank before joining Facebook. In her career, she has also worked for Citibank for 10 years, in the US, India and the Philippines, and has won a number of awards, particularly for online banking.
“It’s been a seismic shift culturally,” she commented on the move from banking to Facebook this afternoon.
“However, I think of us as essential partners in how you grow your business, so it’s been an easy transition to make. It’s solutions that we offer on how you think about distributing your products and services and how you build your brand.”
Devanathan now ranks alongside Joanna Flint, Singapore country head of Google, as among the most powerful media figures in the city-state.