Bob Bakish to take over as Viacom CEO?

MUMBAI: Indian executives are familiar with this Viacom long-timer. And now, he’s being tipped to take over as the US media and cable Viacom CEO. We are talking about Viacom International Media Networks president & CEO Bob Bakish who was been quite closely associated with the Reliance group joint venture Viacom18 and its distribution outfit IndiaCast.

Bakish is slated to replace the interim CEO Tom Dooley if Bloomberg and other international media reports are to be believed. Dooley, who was appointed as the interim CEO following the ouster of the former CEO Philippe Dauman in a public slugfest between him and the majority owner Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari, will depart on 15 November.

The fiesty executive has a long history with Viacom, having first worked with the management consulting firm Booze Allen & Hamilton in the nineties, before hopping on board MTV Networks as the EVP & chief operating officer - ad sales between 2001 and 2004. He then was promoted as the EVP - operations Viacom and Viacom Enterprises, following which he ran MTV Networks International as its president between 2007 and 2011. Since then, he has been the president & CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, expanding and consolidating the group’s international business globally and making it profitable.

The board's decision will be announced Monday.

Viacom18 Media, its 50:50 joint venture with Network18 (now Reliance Industries owned), is one of the international successes, which has flowered under his watch. The venture runs India’s top three GECs - Colors -- apart from channels such as MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Colors Infinity. It has expanded the channels internationally as well into markets such as the UK, the US.

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