LONDON--Charles Yap is departing his role as director of global brand communications and social media at Intercontinental Hotels Group to return to Singapore and join Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.

Yap leaves IHG after seven years. After spending three years with the hotel giant in Singapore, he transferred to London in 2008 to take on global responsibilities, eventually being charged with leading social media strategy in 2010.

At Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, he will succeed highly-rated comms head Melissa Tham, who is departing the company after a decade to emigrate to America.

As VP of communications for the broadcast network, Yap makes a return to the TV industry, where he previously served as CNBC’s Asia-Pacific communications manager.

The Singapore native will oversee external and internal comms and digital media at Discovery, reporting to SVP Kevin Dickie. Yap admitted to the Holmes Report that Tham leaves “big shoes to fill.”

“I’ll be tasked with running with what Melissa has been doing but also taking a different look at how comms should be driven from a strategic perspective,” he added. “I'll be applying my global experience in PR, integrated and digital communications to my new role in Asia-Pacific.”

Yap noted that his decision to leave IHG was not linked to the departure of corporate affairs chief Leslie McGibbon to GSK last year. “I’m leaving mostly for personal reasons,” he explained. “I miss my family and want to be closer to them. That’s the main reason.”

“Having spent seven years in hotels, I will miss that, but I want to try something new,” added Yap. “I also want to do something that has more of a regional focus. These are things that you don’t tend to get to do totally at a global level - you skim the surface.”