Kevin Vaz Takes on Role of CEO for Viacom 18’s TV Business

Veteran media executive Kevin Vaz has officially joined Viacom18 as the CEO of its television business, according to insider sources. Vaz previously held the position of head of entertainment business at Disney Star, and his last day at the company was June 13.

Vaz’s main responsibility will be to drive Viacom18’s extensive television business, which includes nearly 38 channels spanning various genres such as general entertainment, movies, regional programming, and children’s content. Additionally, he will spearhead regional content and marketing efforts for the digital business.

Insiders familiar with the matter revealed that the announcement of Vaz’s appointment was made during a town hall meeting on Monday. The event was attended by Reliance Jio chairman Akash Ambani via video conference, as well as Uday Shankar, now a member of Viacom18’s board after Bodhi Tree Systems acquired a stake in the company.

At the time of writing this report, Viacom18 had not provided any comments regarding the appointment.

Sources also mentioned that Jyoti Deshpande, currently the CEO of Viacom18, will transition out of her role to focus exclusively on heading Jio Studios. Deshpande also serves as the President of Reliance Industries’ Media Business. Anil Jayaraj is currently the CEO of the sports business, while Gourav Rakshit holds the position of COO for the digital business.

One insider tracking the developments stated that the company plans to hire a separate CEO for the digital business, which includes JioCinema. Viacom18 is merging its streaming platform Voot with JioCinema. “Viacom18 will eventually have separate CEOs for TV and digital businesses,” the source revealed anonymously.

Prior to joining Viacom18, Vaz had a long-standing career at Disney Star (formerly Star India) spanning over 20 years. He held several important roles during his tenure, including CEO of the regional entertainment business and head of ad sales.

In April, Viacom18 received a cash infusion of Rs 15,145 crore following the completion of a strategic transaction involving Reliance Industries, Bodhi Tree Systems, and Paramount Global. The merger scheme was approved by the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

 

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