B. Sai Kumar will take over as group chief executive officer (CEO) of the Network18 Group from Haresh Chawla, who had announced his departure two weeks ago, and will oversee the leadership transition. Sai Kumar, 37, is currently group chief operating officer.
In his new role, Sai Kumar will be responsible for strategic and operational management, the company said in a release. He will have direct responsibility of the group’s news, web, publishing, factual entertainment and allied businesses.
These include the IBN General News Network, CNBC-TV18, Awaaz Business News Network, Web18, Yellow Pages, Forbes India, AETN18 and several niche magazines. Sai Kumar will also join the boards of Viacom18 and HomeShop18.
The current chief executives and management teams of Viacom18 and HomeShop18 will continue to report to their respective boards.
Founder Raghav Bahl is expected to step up his engagement with the management teams of Viacom18 and HomeShop18, and Sai Kumar will be working closely with him on both businesses, the company said.
Sai Kumar joined the group in 2000 from the Times Group, where he worked with Times Music and Times FM.
Network18 group reported a consolidated net loss of Rs70.3 crore in the second quarter against a loss of Rs64 crore in the previous quarter. Operating revenue rose 17.2% to Rs425.4 crore in the same period.
The structural changes reflect the reprioritization of goals, said Satyajit Sen, CEO of media buying agency Zenith Optimedia Pvt. Ltd, a part of the Publicis Groupe SA. “The group has been very consistent in terms of new businesses and channel launches,” he said.