B Saikumar has been appointed CEO of the Network18 Group, taking over from Haresh Chawla, who resigned earlier this month. Saikumar was previously the Group COO, and the publisher of Forbes India, and had a significant involvement with defining the path taken by Web18. In his new role, he will be joining the boards of Homeshop18 and Viacom18. Prior to joining the Network18 Group, he was with the Times of India Group, where he worked with Times Music, Times Retail and Times FM.
Also read: “Everyone loves to hate Network18” – Haresh Chawla on Exchange4Media
A copy of the email Haresh Chawla sent out to the Network18 staff on Saikumar’s appointment :
Dear Team Network18,
I am delighted to inform you that Sai is being promoted to Group CEO of Network18. This is part of the leadership succession plan that Raghav and I have been working on over the last few months.
All of us are familiar with Sai, who has worked very closely with me since over a decade in building up Network18. He has been part of all our Network operations since inception and has shown impeccable leadership skills in whatever task he has taken on. For the last few years, since I was splitting my time with the Entertainment business, Sai has pretty much been running the News Network and the Web business single-handedly – and you’ve seen us scale up there into India’s largest and strongest News Network, and India’s largest internet destination. He has lead the launch of Forbes, History and Firstpost from the front, which are all brands that have been game-changers in their respective markets.
Sai, will also be joining the Boards of Homeshop18 and Viacom18 our joint ventures and helping those teams navigate their businesses. The CEOs and Management teams of HS18 and Viacom18 will continue to report to their Boards.
I am fully confident that Sai will take the leadership legacy and the DNA of Network18 forward into the next phase of growth. Network18 has the right brands, the right mindset and is poised to grow dramatically as we enter this new phase of improving digital infrastructure in the broadcast business, as well as the internet. The next wave of industry growth should catapult the Company into the 10000 crore league and I am thrilled that someone I have groomed is taking charge and will lead all of you into this exciting phase.
Over the next few weeks, I will work with Sai to ensure a seamless transition of the operations. Enclosed is the press release that is set to go out today on this announcement.
For me, it is most satisfying to handover the baton to someone who has been a trusted colleague and friend, and more importantly a thorough professional. Here’s wishing you the best, Sai – I am sure that you’ll do an even better job than I did! Keep the flag flying high – God bless you, and God bless Network18.