Natasha Malhotra has been named Vice President and General Manager, Walt Disney Television International India. In this role, she will oversee Disney’s multiplex of channels in India – Disney Channel, Jetix and Hungama TV. The announcement was made on October 5, 2009 by Mahesh Samat, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Walt Disney Company India, to whom Malhotra will be report.
Malhotra succeeds Antoine Villeneuve, who will return to his native France after a two-year term in India, during which he contributed immensely to the growth of Disney Channel as the preferred destination for tweens, Jetix as a popular action-adventure channel, and established Hungama TV as a marketplace leader once again.
Malhotra joins Walt Disney Television International India from the Arab Media Group in Dubai that includes the Viacom channels. Prior to this assignment, she had spent 11 years with MTV networks, starting off in MTV India in 1996 and through various responsibilities in Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Previously, she had spent several years in the advertising film production business.
Commenting on Malhotra’s appointment, Samat said, “Natasha comes to us with extensive content and creative experience. This, combined with her expertise in managing businesses in Asian markets, will help take the channels to the next level in India. As Disney continues to create unique experiences for families in India, Natasha will bring in a unique perspective to the Disney India leadership team.”
Rich Ross, President, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “Antoine’s impressive leadership and breadth of experience took our Indian television business to the next stage in its evolution. We are thrilled to welcome Natasha, an executive who is also held in high esteem throughout the region as a strategic and insightful leader with a track record of innovation. She will use her extensive media experience to further distinguish our business in India as the leader in round the clock, kid driven, family inclusive entertainment.”
On her new role, Malhotra said, “It is a privilege to take on this role and I am thrilled to be working with Disney – an iconic brand that generations all over the world have grown up with. It’s great to be back in India, and I look forward to working with the team to develop and build an exciting entertainment destination for families and kids through the Disney Channels.”