Walt Disney India MD Mahesh Samat resigns

24 Jan,2012

By Nandini Raghavendra


Mahesh Samat, managing director of Walt Disney India, has put in his papers in the middle of the US entertainment company buying out its Indian partner, UTV, and a possible delisting from the stock exchanges.


Both Disney and Mr Samat did not reply to emails inquiring about Mr Samat’s decision, but more than one person in the company, who did not want to be named, confirmed the development.


Last July, Walt Disney made a $454-million offered to buy the Indian promoters, including UTV promoter Mr Ronnie Screwvala from UTV Software Communications. At that time, the company had said that Mr Screwvala would head Disney’s operations in India while Mr Samat would report to Mr Screwvala in the role of chief executive officer.


Disney had originally invested $44.5 million in UTV more than five years ago for a 15% stake and subsequently increased its holdings to 50.4%.


Mr Samat had joined Disney India in 2007 and rose from being a senior vice president to managing director in three years. An alumni of IIM-Calcutta, he came with over 20 years of experience across India, Asia-Pacific and Europe. He has had worked with Johnson & Johnson as managing director for southern Europe, based out of London.


Prior to that, he worked with Kellogg’s in India, Warner Lambert/Parke-Davis and Boots India. At Disney, he reported to Mr Andy Bird, Disney’s president, and managed all divisions of Disney India except ESPN-Star.


In the period, Mr Samat has been with Disney, the company made a foray into Hindi cinema with a first co-produced animation film with Yashraj called Roadside Romeo.


Source: The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


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