Three senior executives exit Star Group

MUMBAI: There is some major churn happening at Star Group's head office in Hong Kong. Three senior executives - Digital Platforms Group president Altaf Alimohamed, advertising sales executive V-P Toby Hayward and marketing and corporate communications senior V-P Mani Rao - have resigned in the last one month, it is reliably learnt.

The exits have come ahead of the Star Group shifting to Hong Kong G Jagdish Kumar, chief operating officer (COO) in the direct-to-home (DTH) joint venture company with the Tatas, Space TV.

DTH and distribution are two areas of the business that Star Group CEO Michelle Guthrie has taken personal charge of, according to industry sources. Guthrie will have a very hands on role to play on both these fronts in the coming months, the sources say.

Meanwhile, as already reported in the media, Kumar would be handling the financial operations of Star for the entire Asian region, including the key markets of India and China. Kumar, who is making a return to the finance side at Star with this move, would be reporting directly to CFO and executive V-P business development John Lau.

As regards replacements for the three executives who have left, information available with indicates that an announcement regarding the person who will take over Hayward's portfolio is expected in due course. The other two positions are, however, likely to remain vacant.

When contacted, Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea said he had no comment to offer on the reported developments.

Hayward was responsible for the advertising sales operations for Star channels in Hong Kong and the company's regional sales offices around the world. He also oversaw Star's research, sales traffic and presentation, client communications and sponsorship activities. Additionally, he coordinated sales and communications between the international and local sales teams based in India, Taiwan and the Middle East.

Alimohamed headed the development of digital platform operations in India. He also oversaw Star's subscription television services in the Middle East and Pakistan.

Rao oversaw marketing, branding, corporate affairs, public relations and the marketing of creative services across Star's brands and businesses. Rao was also responsible for the company's corporate citizenship initiatives.

Returning to Star's DTH plans in India, Space TV is reportedly targeting a Diwali launch and has recruited former marketing executive V-P at Colgate Vikram Kaushik as its head. Shankar De, earlier with international investment banking firm Rothschild, has been appointed CFO.

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