Durga Raghunath has been appointed CEO of Network18 Digital (previously Web18), elevated from her position as as CEO of FirstPost. Raghunath takes over from Lakshni Narasimhan, who is being moved into a corporate role. Raghunath will be responsible for all of Network18 Digital’s content properties, including Moneycontrol.com (their cash-cow), FirstPost (which she helped build from the ground up), Burrp (the listing and reviews business), First Biz (the business focused version of FirstPost), and News18.com (the groups state and local news portal).
Raghunath’s elevation, and moving Narasimhan to a corporate role comes as no surprise to us, and will hopefully bring coherence to Network18’s otherwise incomprehensible approach to its web business (Read:
More Musical Chairs At Network18′s Internet Businesses). This move is indicative of the growing importance of FirstPost in the Network18 portfolio, and how it’s come out of nowhere with a strong editorial bent (never mind the link-baiting content) as the only influential online property that Network18 has outside of MoneyControl. While that is being fixed, the other focus will be to push Web18 towards becoming profitable; and by that we mean actual profit, not accounting profit by shifting costs around.
Raghunath had joined the Network18 group in 2010 as VP, product and executive news producer for Web18, and was instrumental in the conceptualization and launch of Firstpost. Prior to joining Network18, she was with The Wall Street Journal as India Editor (mobile services and digital product development), before which she was the Managing Editor of Livemint.com, the website for HT Media’s financial daily Mint. She has also worked with HarperCollins Publishers in Marketing planning.
P.s.: Conspicuously absent from this announcement: In.com. Anyone taking bets on how long it’ll last?