Facebook picks Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as MD for India

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New Delhi | Published: September 25, 2018 2:36:48 AM

Mohan has been leading Hotstar since April 2016 and has been behind the success of the video streaming app, which has more than 100 million downloads.

Facebook picks Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as MD for India

Facebook on Monday announced the appointment of Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as its new managing director (MD) for India, a position which was vacant at the social media platform for eight months after the then MD, Umang Bedi, left in January this year.

As Facebook India’s MD and vice-president, Mohan will report to the corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California, signifying a break from the past when the India head used to report to the Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore.

This also indicates the growing importance of India as a core market for the US-based company.

“In this newly created role of Managing Director for India, a VP-level role, one of the most important responsibilities for this person will be aligning teams and driving Facebook’s overall strategy in India.
“This is a new structure for Facebook India of having a senior leader reporting into Menlo Park and not Asia Pacific. Mohan will join Facebook early next year,” Facebook said in a statement.

Mohan will be responsible for Facebook’s India strategy and for driving investments in the region.

He will lead the senior leadership team, which is responsible for strengthening the company’s relationships with people, businesses and the government.

Facebook’s vice-president of business and marketing partnerships, David Fisher said, “India is one of the largest and most strategically important countries for Facebook. As we think about what it will take to achieve our mission of bringing people together and building community, we know that investment in India is critical”.

Mohan takes on the mantle of India head at a time when Facebook is facing pressure from the government on dealing with fake news.

The company is also looking at higher data storage costs as India works on a stronger data protection law, which is likely to mandate storing of all sensitive data related to users must be inside the country.
Mohan has been leading Hotstar since April 2016 and has been behind the success of the video streaming app, which has more than 100 million downloads.

In the past, he has also worked with consultancy firm, McKinsey.

Besides, it is also a sensitive time for the social media platform as the CBI is investigating the role of Cambridge Analytica in influencing election in India.

The data analytics firm used Facebook data for psychographic profiling of citizens.

Even its subsidiary, WhatsApp is facing pressure from the government to check fake messages and propaganda on the platform. The company is also looking for the India head for the instant messaging platform.

India, which is its largest market globally in terms of userbase, is an important region for the company with its untapped opportunity for online content services, digital payments, among others.

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