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Star India reshuffles top management; Ajit Mohan made CEO of digital unit

Star India

Star India

Star India underwent a huge top management reshuffle and created five business units and appointed CEOs for the same. Accordingly, Uday Shankar will be Chairman and CEO of Star India and chief operating officer Sanjay Gupta was elevated to managing director of Star India. K Madhavan will be managing director of Star India-South operations.

Both Gupta and Madhavan will continue to report to Uday Shankar.

The new business units

Star also created the following business units. The CEOs of these will report to Gupta:

– Ajit Mohan, CEO of Digital, which oversees Hotstar, Star’s digital platform. The company claims that the app recently surpassed 50 million downloads.

– Amit Chopra, CEO of Entertainment, which includes drama and movie channels across national and regional channels in Hindi, English, Bengali and Marathi.

– Nitin Kukreja, CEO of Sports, which includes a portfolio of channels under the Star Sports banner.

– Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios, which produces and distributes Bollywood and regional films.

Separately, Star also created a business unit for the company’s business interests in the southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Kevin Vaz is appointed  CEO of South and will report to Madhavan.

Star India also created a pan-India content studio which will create “innovative programming” under Gaurav Banerjee who reports into Gupta.

Star’s recent acquisitions 

Star India is now a wholly-owned subsidiary owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. In June 2013, Murdoch officially split his empire into two separate companies, separating News Corp.’s print entities from its broadcast and entertainment operations which got housed under 21st Century Fox. Rupert Murdoch’s son James Murdoch is now the chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox.

In March 2015, Star India bought entertainment magazine Screen from the Indian Express group. As a part of deal, Star would get exclusive ownership of the 64-year-old Screen brand franchise including all archival material and transfer of key employees, and the publication added that it would be ending the print edition of the magazine and will move online.

Earlier in March 2014, Star India bought the remaining 13% stake in Asianet Communications Ltd to complete the Asianet acquisition. Star India had increased its stake in Asianet Communications to 87%, by acquiring 12% stake for $160 million in June 2013. This was by virtue of acquiring a 19% stake in Vijay TV after the government had cleared Vijay TV’s Rs 962 crore FDI request for acquiring existing domestic shareholding in the non-news channel.

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