Zee’s Subhash Chandra plans succession; names Amit Goenka as head - international biz

MUMBAI: In a bid to steer to company towards the future, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd's (Zeel) Next Gen is stepping into pivotal roles. While Zeel chairman Subhash Chandra had pulled in his elder son Puneet Goenka into the firm a decade ago, he is now shoring up the senior management by bringing in his younger son Amit Goenka as CEO of Zeel's international broadcasting business.


Even as Puneet has steered Zeel to greater heights as its managing director and CEO, Amit, who was earlier the non executive chairman of the company, has been entrusted with the responsibility to provide clear focus to the company’s international operations. 


To this effect, Zeel is reorganising its overseas broadcasting operations of all international channels, excluding sports, English channels and uplinking activities, under a wholly owned subsidiary of its company Asia Today Ltd (ATL). Currently, these operations are housed under Zeel’s overseas subsidiaries ATL, Mauritius (being renamed as ATL Media Ltd) and Zee Multimedia Worldwide (Mauritius) Ltd and their respective subsidiaries.


Additionally, Zeel has also got board approval to write-off of an investment of GBP 3.25 million (equivalent to Rs. 33.06 crore) made by ATL, in 2013 for acquiring a minority stake in MirriAD Ltd., UK. This write-off was on account of continuing losses and consequent capital reduction and restructuring in the latter.


“Bringing in Amit is a good move by Chandra as he has successfully been working behind the scenes at the Essel Group on innovations and business development despite heading Playwin as its CEO. He has a good deal of experience under his belt, which should help Zeel achieve Chandra's global vision for Zee,” says a media observer. “It's good succession planning by the savvy mediapreneur. And it’s quite akin to what his former partner Rupert Murdoch has done in recent times by bringing in his elder son Lachlan in a non-executive capacity as News Corp co-chairman and 21st Century Fox. His younger son James has been running 21st Century Fox as its CEO much earlier.”


A techie at heart, Amit has more than 10 years experience and is the CEO of Pan India, which runs the online lottery business under the Playwin brand. Some of the other projects where he is involved are ITZ Cash, animation division, wireless mobility, 7575 short code business, Digital Media Convergence Limited, Mumbai Football Club, All Sports Bar and All Sports Magazine amongst others. Amit has also worked with Zee Telefilms and was closely associated with the group's investment and restructuring of the ICO project, a global mobile telephony project during his early days.


Additionally, Zeel executive vice chairman Subodh Kumar has resigned from his post with immediate effect. He will, however, continue as a non-executive director on the Board of the company.

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