There is a change of guard at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd again. Pradeep Guha, CEO, ZEEL, is moving out of the organisation, and Punit Goenka, who is the current Network Operating Officer, is taking over as CEO. Guha and ZEEL officials have confirmed the development to exchange4media and further informed that this change takes place with immediate effect.
Confirming the same to exchange4media, Rajendra Sinh, Group Director – Human Resources, Essel Group, said, “ZEEL and Pradeep Guha have decided to part ways. Punit Goenka takes charge of ZEEL as CEO.”
Guha added, “I have some plans and options, but I would like to speak about them shortly.”
The industry has been rife with speculations of Guha exiting ZEEL for some time now, however, both ZEEL officials and Pradeep Guha had been denying it till today’s development. This development puts all speculations to rest now.
After a stint of almost three decades, Guha had exited the Times Group to join the Zee Group in the first quarter of 2005. In the last three years, much has happened in Zee under Guha’s leadership. From a revamp of the Group and its various channels to new initiatives like Zee’s foray into print through Diligent Media (a JV of Zee Group and Bhaskar Group) are some of the developments at the Group under Guha’s guidance.
Punit Goenka has been actively involved in all aspects of the Group. From being the head of just the flagship channel Zee TV, Goenka went on to become the Network Operating Officer in November 2007. He has actively engaged with various aspects of broadcasting, including the growth of ZEEL in the international markets. Goenka is Essel Group’s Chairman Subhash Chandra’s son.
In the last few months, Guha has been involved with other areas such as development of a digital company to the launch of an OOH company, Street Culture.
When contacted by exchange4media, company insiders on the condition of anonymity shared that Guha’s departure was in the offing for some time. One reason, as some stated, was that Guha had been occupied with his own businesses on the side. Insiders also informed that Chandra, who was away on an overseas trip to London, agreed to the advice of Corporate Human Resource Director Rajendra Sinh when he was informed of this, and the only way forward then was to bring in Goenka to take charge of ZEEL.
Goenka is expected to settle into his role easily as he has been actively involved in ZEEL and is the heir apparent, having performed the roles assigned to him in the network well in the last few months.
It would be interesting to watch Punit Goenka, the entrepreneur, lead the company in this very competitive media environment.
Pradeep Guha launches OOH company Street Culture