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Star India split into two separate units under Nair, Mukerjea

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MUMBAI / NEW DELHI: In what is a major organisational revamp within Star India, the functions and management of the group have been split between CEO Peter Mukerjea and COO Sameer Nair.

Nair has been given the role of CEO Star Entertainment India while Mukerjea is now the CEO of Star Group India.
Essentially, what has happened is that Star India has been split up into an operational entity and a corporate entity.

Mukerjea will lead Star Group in India as its CEO, responsible for all corporate functions such as legal, finance, government affairs, corporate communications as well as managing Stars investments including Tata Sky, Hathway, Balaji and MCCS.

He will also spearhead the development of new business opportunities in India. Mukerjea will continue to report to Star Group CEO Michelle Guthrie.

Star Entertainment India, which is now fully under Nair's charge, will oversee day-to-day programming, marketing, advertising sales and distribution functions.

Nair has also been given the remit of expanding Star's media presence from its existing TV channels Star Plus, Star Movies, Star Gold, Star News, Star One, Channel [V], Star Utsav and Star Vijay, into new media including wireless and broadband internet platforms.

Nair will be reporting directly to Star Group COO Steve Askew.
The changes are part of a reorganisation emanating from Star's headquarters in Hong Kong with Askew being given additional charge as president of Star Entertainment. Askew has been Star COO since December 2003.

Askews appointment is effective immediately. In his expanded role, he will oversee Stars operating divisions across the region, with his portfolio expanding from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and the Middle East to India.
Commenting on the announcement, Guthrie said, The reorganization reflects the scale to which our operations have grown in India. The new structure will enable us to optimize our resources in expanding our leadership position in the television landscape while aggressively creating new opportunities in Indias thriving marketplace.

According to Guthrie, Sameer was the key driving force to our ratings turnaround in India in 2001. Since then, Sameers intuitive knowledge of television entertainment has helped Star India deliver record results in ratings and revenues.

"His promotion is a testament to the contribution he has made to build Star into the number one network in India. The new reporting structure aligns our creative forces and operational teams across the region, enabling us to continue developing compelling and successful content across different delivery platforms for years to come.

Guthrie continued, Peter has done an exceptional job in leading our highly talented local team to grow our businesses exponentially in India. Under the spin-off, we will be able to exert a greater impact on our existing investments in India, particularly with the imminent launch of the Tata Sky DTH service.

"Peters unique insights, extensive experience and strong business acumen will be invaluable as Star actively pursues new business opportunities to serve consumers throughout India.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com late in the evening, Nair expressed happiness at the confidence the top management of Star had shown in him.

Quizzed on his agenda after the promotion, Nair said, "The basic aim of the company remains unchanged and that is to continue making entertaining content and find ways to monetise them more effectively across all delivery platforms."

Though Nair was not forthcoming on the company's plans relating to Internet and wireless (medium), he did admit that these are two areas that will get some focussed attention.

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