Uday Shankar photographed at his office in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Uday Shankar photographed at his office in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Disney reorganises international business units, Uday Shankar to lead APAC

The direct-to consumer and international segments of the company have sought strategic alignment of their consolidated international business units as part of the integration planning for the pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox

New Delhi: The Walt Disney Co. announced the appointment of Uday Shankar, as chairman, Star and Disney India, and president, The Walt Disney Co. Asia Pacific as part of a leadership reorganization strategy on Thursday. Shankar is currently president, 21st Century Fox, Asia, and chairman and CEO of Star India. The direct-to consumer and international segments of the company have sought strategic alignment of their consolidated international business units as part of the integration planning for the pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Inc.

The Walt Disney Co. agreed to buy Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. for about $52.4 billion in stock last December.

“The planned restructuring of our business units outside of the US 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," Kevin Mayer, chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer and international segment said in a statement. “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 organizations. 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."

The structure, Disney said, will allow for more efficient management of the company’s portfolio of assets and the optimization of resources applied in support of the company’s strategic priorities. The international operating structure and executive management of the direct-to-consumer segment, effective upon the completion of the acquisition, will include three distinct regions. Apart from Shankar who will oversee the Asia Pacific region, Rebecca Campbell, currently president, the Walt Disney Company Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will maintain oversight of this region besides looking after Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Further, Diego Lerner, who currently serves as president, The Walt Disney Company Latin America, will maintain oversight of this region. All three will report to Mayer.

Reporting to Shankar as part of the Asia Pacific leadership team will be Luke Kang, executive vice president and managing director, Greater China, Japan and Kore, Kylie Watson-Wheeler, managing director, Australia and New Zealand and Chafic Najia, senior vice president and managing director, Middle East. In the coming weeks, Disney plans to announce additional executives joining the three regional leadership teams as well as the global sales organization in the direct-to-consumer and international segments.

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