Kunal Dasgupta’s abrupt departure from Multi Screen Media (MSM) two weeks back as its CEO was evidently just the beginning of a significant people churn at the organisation. The moods were very grim at the MSM office on March 5, 2009, with the company seeing the exits of many of its senior resources and old hands. The day began with the announcement of Sony Entertainment Television’s Business Head Albert Almeida putting in his papers. There is no replacement for Almeida yet.
By evening, eight more names announced their exits from the company.
It is believed that this outward bound list is long and the number varies from 40 to 50 people across the board. MSM officials were not available for comments. A company source explained, “There were no official announcements in the company regarding anything, but everyone is concerned with all that happened in the day.” Sources at MSM expect this churn to continue for at least the next few days. A senior company source said, “There are various reasons why people are leaving, and this could also include the company rationalising costs. The picture would be clear once the dust settles on what is going on.”
There are at least five names from the MSM sales function that have left the company. These include Vinod Berry, Senior VP, Credit and Revenue Management; Abbas Muni, Sales Strategy; Vijay Koshy, who was looking after the sales of Pix; Jagdip Dighe, Senior VP, Client Servicing; and Kaushal Modi, Senior VP Integration, Syndication, Mobile & Telephony.
Some of the other names are Avnish Agarwal, Network Head of Promos; and Pinaki Sen, VP, MIS. It was also the end of Priya Bhave’s stint with the company, who was heading the non-fiction programming for SET. This was Bhave’s second stint with Sony, and she was a consultant to the company working on a six-month contract. The contract ended on March 1, 2009, and Bhave has not renewed her contract with MSM.
There were some speculations around two other names – Vivek Tiwari, who was Senior VP – Technical Services & Infrastructure, is believed to have moved to another function in the company that is in the process of being instituted. Another name that got caught in the exit buzz was that of Nitin Nadkarni, the CFO of the company. However, several MSM officials have denied Nadkarni’s exit.
In an earlier interview with exchange4media, NP Singh, COO, MSM, had said that the company would undertake some cost rationalising steps in the near future, which would be a part of the “routine activities in the course of regular work”. The developments in Sony at present would not really appear routine, and undoubtedly MSM employees are anxious on the developments unfurling around them. However, there is still time before the complete picture clears on this.
Kunal Dasgupta quits Multi Screen Media; Man Jit Singh takes over as interim CEO