Disney announces APAC top deck

02 Apr,2019


By A Correspondent


On April 1, Star India – part of 21st Century Fox and now the larger Walt Disney Company – employees received a mail from Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star and Disney India, and President, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific.


It was much anticipated given an announcement earlier that the APAC leadership team would be unveiled. All of this was necessitated thanks to the late 2017 acquisition of the Rupert Murdoch family-owned 21st Century Fox by the Walt Disney Company.


Said Shankar: “It is a momentous opportunity to be able to chart the course of The Walt Disney Company in Asia Pacific and Middle East. While our region is experiencing tremendous change, the common thread that binds it together is the exciting opportunity it presents to build on the great businesses that we have today and create transformational businesses of tomorrow. My endeavour is to build an organisation that enables us to take full advantage of this unique opportunity and capitalise on the potential of the great leadership talent that we have in the region.”


Although Walt Disney is the leader in many parts of the world, competition is getting stiffer with OTT platforms aided by cheaper mobile data, the rules of the game are indeed changing.


“We recognise the need for a sharp focus on building deeply local businesses,” Shankar continued. “To achieve this, we are making some changes to the current market structure. This will allow us to serve the strategic agenda in each market and enable our exceptional leaders to build even greater and more successful businesses. Above all, this will facilitate our transformation into a direct-to-consumer company that rests on deep local foundations.”


So here is the leadership of the APAC team of The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) segment:


Business Leads and Country Managers:

:: North Asia: Luke Kang will continue to lead the North Asia (Greater China, Japan and Korea) business including direct country management of Mainland China and Japan

:: India: Sanjay Gupta will be Country Manager of India and will also have direct responsibility for the studio business in the country

:: Star Regional Media Networks: K Madhavan will lead Star India’s regional language Media Networks

:: Southeast Asia: Zubin Gandevia, after a long and distinguished career with Fox, has decided to leave the company but has agreed to remain for a period of time to help transition the leadership of media networks in Southeast Asia

:: Emerging Markets & Content Sales: Amit Malhotra will lead Emerging Markets. He will also lead Content Sales for APAC (except North Asia), with a dual reporting to Janice Marinelli who heads DTCI’s Global Content Sales and Distribution

:: Middle East: Chafic Najia will be Country Manager of Middle East Media cluster

:: Australia/New Zealand (ANZ): Kylie Watson-Wheeler will continue to serve as Country Manager of Australian and New Zealand business with direct responsibility for Media Networks and Direct-to-Consumer

:: Studios APAC: Kurt Rieder will lead the Studio business for APAC (except India). He will work closely with the regional business leaders to drive this business


Functional Leads:

:: Sanjay Jain will lead Finance

:: Amita Maheshwari will lead Human Resources

:: Anju Jain Kumar will be the Chief Regional Counsel for North Asia and ANZ

:: Deepak Jacob will be the Chief Regional Counsel for India, South East Asia and Middle East

:: Prateek Garg will manage my office as head of Corporate Development and will work closely with me and all business and functional heads

:: Jessica Pouleur will lead Strategy and Business Development. She will also take interim responsibility of leading strategy for Southeast Asia

:: Jannie Poon will head Corporate Communications


Added Shankar: “Our true strength comes from the quality and diversity of our talent, which combines the best of both Disney and 21st Century Fox. I am privileged to lead a team of such exceptional leaders and congratulate all of them on getting this exciting opportunity to lead this great company to an even greater destiny.”


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