Uday Shankar, currently head of Star India, has been promoted to become president of 21st Century Fox in Asia.
As well as continuing at Star, he will lead 21st Century Fox’s video businesses across all of Asia, including Star India and Fox Networks Group.
“Uday’s new role will enhance our strategic focus across all of Asia and enable us to further capture opportunities, building on the transformation Star India has driven in our most important growth market,” 21st Century Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch and CEO James Murdoch said in a statement.
“Under Uday’s leadership, our India business has firmly established itself as a world-class asset with durable businesses across entertainment, sports, satellite distribution and OTT. His strategic vision has put 21CF at the forefront of content and distribution in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and we are very fortunate to benefit from Uday’s expanded leadership at a global level.”
Zubin Gandevia, president of Fox Networks Group Asia, will continue to oversee video brands across 14 markets and now report to Shankar under the realigned regional structure. Fox’s film business in Asia will continue to report directly to Stacey Snider, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film.
The move comes at a time of other reorganization within the conglomerate. It emerged this week that Fox International Productions president Tomas Jegeus would return to the parent company after FIP, the local-language production venture, which had been notably active in Asia, was dissolved. On the theatrical releasing side in Asia, Kurt Rieder recently took over from Sunder Kimatrai as executive VP, Asia-Pacific, at 20th Century Fox.
The move also comes at a time when Disney has renewed its talks to acquire all or part of Fox.
Shankar has been at the head of Star India, India’s leading pay-TV group, since October 2007. The decade that has followed has seen the transformation of Star into a diversified media company, with initiatives in TV distribution through Media Pro, the establishment of the movie joint venture Fox Star Studios, regional television through Asianet, and Fox’s (previously News Corp.) acquisition of its joint venture with ESPN in 2012.
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