NEW DELHI: The Walt Disney Co. announced a major reshuffle to its leadership team for the APAC (Asia Pacific) and Middle East region on Monday. The restructuring has come about as a result of Disney’s purchase of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. for about $52.4 billion in stock in December 2017.
“It is a momentous opportunity to be able to chart the course of The Walt Disney Co. 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," said Uday Shankar, chairman, Star and Disney India, and president, The Walt Disney Co. Asia Pacific, in a statement.
The company recognizes the need for a sharp focus on building deeply local businesses. To achieve this, it is making some changes to the current market structure, Shankar said. This will allow it to serve the strategic agenda in each market and enable its exceptional leaders to build even greater and more successful businesses. Above all, this will facilitate its transformation into a direct-to-consumer company that rests on deep local foundations.
North Asia will be led by Luke Kang who will look after business including direct country management of Mainland China and Japan. Sanjay Gupta will be country manager of India and will also have direct responsibility for the studio business in the country while K Madhavan will lead Star India’s regional language media networks. Amit Malhotra will lead emerging markets and content sales for APAC (except North Asia). Chafic Najia will be country manager of Middle East media cluster while Kylie Watson-Wheeler will continue to serve as country manager of Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) business with direct responsibility for media networks and direct-to-consumer. Kurt Rieder will lead the studio business for APAC (except India).
As far as functional leads go, Sanjay Jain and Amita Maheshwari will lead finance and human resource respectively. Anju Jain Kumar will be the chief regional counsel for North Asia and ANZ while Deepak Jacob will be the chief regional counsel for India, South East Asia and Middle East.
“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," Shankar said in a statement.