Foreign correspondent and business journalist Davan Maharaj was named Thursday to replace Russ Stanton as business editor of the Los Angeles Times.
Maharaj has served in various posts since joining the paper in 1990, advancing from general assignment reporter in Orange County to business writer, Nairobi bureau chief and, most recently, deputy business editor.
"Davan is an energetic, creative and smart journalist who will put his stamp of excellence on The Times' business coverage," Times Editor James E. O'Shea said in announcing the appointment.
Maharaj said he hoped to build on the "solid foundation" left by his predecessor and to focus particular attention on Southern California businesses and entrepreneurs. He said he planned to improve the business section's profile on the newspaper's Internet site, latimes.com, and "to attract younger readers with features and advice that we think they might welcome and to make our business coverage a really necessary read for people of all ages."
The Times has focused particular attention on the entertainment industry, an emphasis Maharaj said he planned to continue while expanding reporting on personal finance.
The 44-year-old journalist has received numerous honors, including the 2005 Ernie Pyle Award for international reporting, for a six-part series on poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The "Living on Pennies" stories described how half the region's population struggled to survive on incomes of less than $1 a day.
Maharaj, born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Tennessee. He attended a master's degree program for journalists at Yale Law School. He is married, with two children.
The new business editor assumed his duties Thursday, filling a spot left vacant in January when O'Shea named Stanton to the new position of innovation editor. Stanton is charged with improving latimes.com and melding the online operation with The Times' print edition.