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Star India sees stars come and go; Devika Sharma quits Channel [V]

09-May-2002
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Star India sees stars come and go; Devika Sharma quits Channel [V]

Neha Pant

After the recent induction of Raveena Raj Kohli as Star News head and the promotion of Sameer Nair as the COO, there are reports that Devika Sharma, Head of Channel [V] has put in her papers.

Star TV in India under the stewardship of Peter Mukherjea has performed exceptionally well over the past couple of years. What has also happened at Star is a lot of executive movement during this time period, which has gone unnoticed. Devika Sharma, head of Channel [V] is known to be quitting soon. Devika had joined in from Contract Advertising last year and along with Samir Nair was instrumental in the launch of Channel [V] popstars. Yash Khanna, official spokesperson for Star, confirmed the development to exchange4media.

If we look at the executive movement at Star it becomes evident that a lot of senior executives have left the company, new people have joined and senior executives have been promoted internally. Recently Sameer Nair, EVP, Programming who was responsible for KBC was promoted to the post of COO. Raj Nayak, EVP, Ad Sales, who has been with Star for more than 10 years, was expected to be the successor to Peter Mukherjea.

A pink newspaper carried a news item that a post of Deputy CEO was being created to reward Nayak for his contribution to Star India. The newspaper also suggested that the CFO, Shankar Narayan was also being considered for the post. exchange4media has learnt that Shankar has gone on leave. Yash Khanna though denied that any such development was taking place. The recent appointment of Ravina Raj Kohli as the president of Star News had also unruffled many feathers with select group of senior executives feeling that their contribution should have been rewarded in somewhat similar manner.

If we further look at the executive movement at Star, over the last one year or so it throws up some interesting trends. Vikram Sakhuja, EVP Marketing, who had joined Star from Coke, left the channel some time back to join Mindshare Fulcrum. Six months back Indira Mansingh who was in-charge of Star News as EVP also quit as she was going abroad and was expected to join back in a couple of months. Arun Mohan who was heading the distribution function also quit and is now reportedly joining a company as CEO. Then came Tony D’Silva who joined Star as head of distribution in place of Mohan from Zee, UK.

Significantly some key executives have also moved into the new roles like Sumantro Dutta who was appointed as the COO of Star promoted Radio City. Another senior executive who also moved into a new role is Jagdish Kumar who is now number 2 in Star’s DTH venture.

Despite the usual churning that has taken place in the organization their performance has only got better during this time. As they say stars keep coming and going but the show goes on. Star India certainly believes in that.

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