Disney’s Uday Shankar to step down by year-end

By: |
October 9, 2020 1:45 AM

Shankar’s is the most high-profile exit from Star India after The Walt Disney Company announced the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which included Star India.

About a year ago, Sanjay Gupta, who was MD at Star and Disney India, moved to Google as the tech giant’s country manager for India.About a year ago, Sanjay Gupta, who was MD at Star and Disney India, moved to Google as the tech giant’s country manager for India.

Uday Shankar has decided to step down as president, The Walt Disney Company APAC, and chairman, Star and Disney India, effective December 31.

Shankar’s is the most high-profile exit from Star India after The Walt Disney Company announced the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which included Star India. About a year ago, Sanjay Gupta, who was MD at Star and Disney India, moved to Google as the tech giant’s country manager for India. Furthermore, in the run-up to the completion of the acquisition, the then head of Hotstar, Ajit Mohan, left Star India to join Facebook India as its MD and vice-president. The Walt Disney Company acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in a $71 billion cash and stock deal in June 2018.

As his next move, Shankar plans to mentor entrepreneurs. Announcing his decision, he said in a statement, “For some time now, I have been contemplating the question of how I give back to the country, community and the industry that have given me so much. I think the best way to express my gratitude to all of them will be to support and mentor a new generation of entrepreneurs as they set out to create transformational solutions that will have a positive impact on countless lives. I intend to partner with global investors and pioneers to achieve this”.

Shankar is a former journalist with a Master’s degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. His stint with television broadcasting began in the mid-’90s as a news producer for Zee TV. Later, as the editor and news director at TV Today Group, he spearheaded the launch of Aaj Tak in 2000 and Headlines Today in 2003. In 2004, he was appointed CEO of Star News.

He took over the leadership of Star India in 2007. Since then, Shankar led Star’s foray into regional and local language programming, consolidated Star’s sports broadcasting operations through 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of its joint venture with ESPN, and oversaw the launch of Hotstar. In December 2018, The Walt Disney Company announced that Shankar would lead its APAC operations after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

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