Times' Pradeep Guha appointed Zee Telefilms CEO

MUMBAI: It's now official. Just over a month after broke the news of what is arguably the most significant executive hiring in the industry in 2004, comes the confirmation. That the Times Group's advertising head honcho and president Pradeep Guha is joining Zee Telefilms as its new chief executive. Subhash Chandra's network today made the official announcement.

As already reported on, Guha, who was president, Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (which counts The Times of India and Economic Times as its key publications), officially takes charge as Zee Telefilms CEO in January 2005. Guha tells that he will start work at Zee any time between the third week and fourth week of January.

Announcing the appointment, Chandra said, We are happy to announce the appointment of an accomplished professional like Pradeep as the CEO of Zee Telefilms Ltd. Our numerous channels spanning several languages and genres will be the perfect foil to his skills as a media and entertainment expert.

Queried as to his immediate agenda, Guha said, "It is rather premature to talk about immediate agendas but my broad mandate is to revive the glory days of Zee." On the question of whether his work experience having been solely in the print medium thus far would be seen as a handicap, Guha had this to say, "I believe there are certain nuances of what I have learnt in my career in print that are replicable in the electronic media as well. In any case, very few of the people manning leadership positions in the electronic media today built their careers solely in television."

Guha started and built his career in the Times Group over a period spanning three decades. Guha, who lead the sales & marketing function of the Times Group, also spearheaded the Page 3 culture in India with the launch of Bombay Times. To his credit also lies the re-engineering of key brands like The Times of India, Filmfare and Femina. Two events that came to be associated with Guha and had his imprint written all over them were the Filmfare Awards and the Femina Miss India contests. Ample proof of this is the proliferation of international titleholders that India spawned under Guhas steerage of these events, viz. two Miss Universes and four Miss Worlds. Further, in his personal capacity he has launched a film production company, which produced the critically acclaimed film, Fiza.

Guha holds key positions in a number of industry bodies like Indian Newspaper Society, National Readership Studies Council, Advertising Council of India, Advertising Club Bombay, among others. Recently he brought all his diverse skills together to helm Asias largest biennial advertising Congress, Ad Asia 2003 that was held in Jaipur, India.

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