Uday Shankar to head Disney in India

14 Dec,2018

By A Correspondent

Uday Shankar, who currently serves as President, 21st Century Fox, Asia, and Chairman and CEO of Star India, will become Chairman, Star and Disney India, and President, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific

This is part of the integration planning for the pending acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., the Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) segment of The Walt Disney Company. The consolidated international business units will be helmed by three leaders including Shankar.

Said Kevin Mayer, Chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment: “The planned restructuring of our business units outside of the U.S. will result in a stronger, more agile organization, one that is better able to pivot and capitalize on the many opportunities present in today’s fast-changing and increasingly complex global marketplace,” adding: “Once the acquisition is complete, all three regions will be led by exceptional, highly experienced executives who will combine the ‘best of the best’ talent from both organisations. This new structure and the outstanding leadership team we’ve put in place are clear demonstrations of our strong commitment to integrating operations and thoughtfully executing our strategic priorities around the globe.”

DTCI’s international operating structure and executive management, effective upon the completion of the acquisition, will include three distinct regions:

· EMEA– Rebecca Campbell, who currently serves as President, The Walt Disney Company EMEA, will maintain oversight of this region and adds oversight of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

· Latin America – Diego Lerner, who currently serves as President, The Walt Disney Company Latin America, will maintain oversight of this region

· Asia Pacific – Uday Shankar, who currently serves as President, 21st Century Fox, Asia, and Chairman and CEO of Star India, will become Chairman, Star and Disney India, and President, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific

Additionally, Janice Marinelli will serve as President, Global Content Sales and Distribution. Responsible for DTCI’s integrated global content sales organization, she will lead and have oversight of the Company’s programming sales efforts for its combined portfolio of content, as well as the distribution of branded direct-to-consumer apps and services to broadcasters, digital services and other third-party distributors around the world.

Campbell, Lerner, Marinelli and Shankar will report to Mayer.

Reporting to Shankar as part of the Asia Pacific leadership team will be the following current DTCI executives:

· Luke Kang, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Greater China, Japan and Korea

· Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand

· Chafic Najia, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Middle East

In the coming weeks, DTCI plans to announce additional executives joining the three regional leadership teams as well as the global sales organization.

Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox has received formal approval from shareholders of both companies, and Disney and 21st Century Fox have entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that allows the acquisition to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks. The transaction is subject to various international regulatory clearances, a number of which have been obtained, while others remain pending.

Meanwhile, as has been known, Mahesh Samat has been appointed as EVP, Disney consumer products commerciali-sation for the Asia Pacific region. He will be responsible for the commercialisation of Disney franchises across merchandise, publishing and licensed games. He was earlier senior VP and MD at Walt Disney International, South Asia.

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