SAN FRANCISCO — Less than six months after moving from China to head Edelman’s US tech practice, Sanjay Nair has been upped to the firm's global technology chair – becoming the fifth person to hold the job in as many years.

In his new role, Nair, a 12-year Edelman vet, will oversee a key practice area that employs nearly 700 agency staffers worldwide. He reports to global sectors head Kym White.

Nair succeeds former Apple communications head Natalie Kerris, who has left for Oracle, according to an agency spokesperson. Kerris’ departure comes less than a year after she joined Edelman in February, filling a position that had been vacant for nearly a year after Maria Amundson left in April 2016.

During his career with Edelman, Nair has held a range of leadership positions, most recently serving as COO of Edelman China and MD of Beijing. Before that, Nair was based in Singapore, where he was head of Asia technology and HP regional client lead.

Nair said his top priorities in his new role are: serving clients by deepening and broadening the tech sector’s offerings; internal team-building as a means of fostering the practice’s strengths; and growth with a focus on artificial intelligence, B2B marketing and blockchain.

He also sees “huge white space” opportunity for the tech practice collaborating with other sectors, particularly health.

White, who heads the health practice in addition to her larger role, said Nair’s breadth of experience across Edelman will have big impact. “His tech chops, along with global experience and cultural sensitivity, are going to make him a very powerful leader here,” she said.