The year 2021 witnessed top-level exit and entries in the media, marketing, and ad world. Dentsu India and Myntra were hit by slew of senior-level exits. Star India, Viacom 18, BCCL witnessed rejig in their leadership positions this year.
The series of exit at denstu began with Soumitra Karnik, Chief Creative Officer at Dentsu Impact, Dentsu India and Happy mcgarrybowen, moved on from his role in January 2021. He was followed by Anand Bhadkamkar, CEO, Dentsu India who stepped down from his position in August. The statement from Denstu read that the network is moving forward into Dentsu India 2.0. They also claimed that despite the pandemic, it has started to optimise its portfolio of brands into six global leadership brands, making itself more agile and simpler for the clients to access its capabilities and talents. The company also states that to accelerate this transformation, Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC and chairman India, and Peter Huijboom, global CEO, Media and global Clients will assume interim, day-to-day leadership of Dentsu India. Then the agency witnessed a slew of top level exits within short period, Haresh Nayak President, Posterscope APAC. COO, Dentsu Media Brands, MD, Posterscope India quit in September. Shamsuddin Jasani, Group Managing Director of Isobar India resigned in August, in November he was named the CEO of Wunderman Thompson South Asia. Cut to November, Ashish Bhasin moved on from the organization as Dentsu International’s Asia-Pacific CEO and India chairman after a 13 years stint.
The other major exits from Denstu include Gopa Kumar, COO, Isobar India, Gautam Reghunath, CEO, dentsu Webchutney, Vivek Bhargava, Head of Performance Group, dentsu International, Santosh Padhi, CCO and Co-founder, Taproot dentsu, Gautam Mehra, Chief Data & Product Officer, dentsu Asia Pacific (APAC) & CEO, dentsu Programmatic, South Asia, PG Aditiya, chief creative officer, dentsu Webchutney, Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect, and Agnello Dias, CCO and Co-founder, Taproot dentsu.
Walt Disney Company India & Star India
The Walt Disney Company India and Star India, under the leadership of President K Madhavan announced restructuring and expansion of the current business structure and roles in September. Kevin Vaz, who was the Head of Infotainment, Kids & Regional Entertainment Channels- Star and Disney India, was given the additional responsibilities to lead the entertainment segment of Star & Disney India with responsibilities of the entire entertainment channel business including Regional channels, Kids & Infotainment, Star Plus, Star Bharat, Star Utsav, Hindi Movies and the English cluster. Gaurav Banerjee was given the addition responsibility to lead the HSM Entertainment content and Disney+ Hotstar, apart from the regional content for OTT.
Star India also rejigged their regional leadership team in September. Krishnan Kutty, Business Head- the Tamil GEC- Star Vijay, has been given additional responsibilities of the Marathi GEC- Star Pravah and Malayalam GEC- Asianet. Alok Jain, Business Head of Star Maa- the Telugu GEC Channel, was given additional responsibility of the Bengali GEC Star Jalsha, Kannada GEC Star Suvarna and soon to be launched Odiya GEC Star Kirano.
In June 2021, The Times Group rejigged their top-level editorial team with an elevated role to Jaideep ‘Jojo’ Bose, Editorial Director of The Times of India.
“Jojo will focus on longer-horizon ideas and projects aimed at consolidating and enhancing Brand TOI’s position as the pre-eminent destination for news, views, analysis and features. As part of this overarching objective, he will facilitate greater integration between print and digital with a view to enriching TOI’s relationship with its audiences, “ said S. Sivakumar Chairman, Executive Committee, Bennett, Coleman & Co., Ltd in an official statement.
Following Jojo’s elevation Vikas Singh, Associate Executive Editor has taken over as the Executive Editor (News) in overall charge of all news content that goes into the paper. Derick D’Sa, who was the Associate Executive Editor, was named the Executive Editor (National Coordination).
The joint venture between Reliance Industries-controlled TV18 and ViacomCBS- Viacom 18 announced a series of new appointments in 2021. The company named Jyoti Deshpande as the Chief Executive Officer. Deshpande would be responsible to bring synergies across all of Reliance’s media interests and investments and further equip the company to drive significant growth opportunities as the industry embraces digital transformation.
In September, Viacom18 announced the appointment of Anil Jayaraj as CEO – Sports. Jayaraj’s appointment comes when the media and entertainment network is looking to expand its presence in the sports broadcasting segment. He will be leading the company’s foray into acquisition, broadcasting and monetisation of sports properties.
Viacom18 appointed Aniket Joshi as Business Head for Colors Marathi in September. Joshi’s responsibilities included managing the channel’s overall business strategy and operations.
Following the exit of Anup Chandrasekharan as Business Head at Colors Tamil after a 5 years stint, Viacom18 appointed Rajaraman Sundaram as Business Head, Colors Tamil. In his new role, Sundaram would be responsible for scaling up the overall business strategy and invigorating the operations of the channel.
Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC)
The Industry’s Television Audience measurement body Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) which has been facing several backlashes from the industry itself regarding the fake TRP controversy announced Nakul Chopra as its new Chief Executive Officer in August. Chopra, joined the BARC India Board in 2016 and was subsequently appointed the Chairman of the company (2018-19). In January 2020, he was appointed a member of its Oversight Committee.
Havas Group announced the appointment of Pritha Dasgupta as the Chief Marketing Officer. In her new role, Dasgupta will drive the marketing and communications function of the group and all the network companies and will be working closely with the senior leadership team in India and the global marketing and communication team.
As part of their leadership restructuring plans Havas Group has elevated Arindam Sengupta as Chief Client Officer, Havas Worldwide India and Head-Group Integration. Prashant Tekwani, Executive VP and Business Head, Havas CX, will now additionally head the Mumbai operations of Havas Worldwide India.
GroupM India has named Priti Murthy as president, GroupM Services India. She also joins GroupM India’s executive committee. Murthy moves from OMD where she was the CEO. At GroupM, she will be leading the center of delivery excellence that comprises biddable, non-biddable, analytics and reporting.
The Flipkart-owned online fashion retailer Myntra has also witnessed top leadership exit in 2021. Soon after CEO Amar Nagaram decided to move on from the company by December, the Chief Financial Officer, Ramesh Bafna, and Harish Narayanan, Chief Marketing Officer, have also put in their papers. The company also has announced the appointment of Nandita Sinha as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022.
In an internal mail to the employees, Nagaram said, “Ramesh Bafna, CFO, Myntra, who has been with the Flipkart Group for the last 7 years, has decided to pursue career opportunities outside of Myntra. Ramesh has contributed immensely during his stint at Myntra, strengthening the Finance function and setting systems and processes to help scale the growth further”. On Narayanan’s decision to move on from the organization, Nagaram said, “In pursuit of his passion for early-stage start-ups, after nearly two and a half years, he has decided to write the next chapter of his career in the ed-tech space. He has been our Diversity sponsor and has delivered many initiatives beyond his role as a CMO.” Both Bafna and Narayanan will continue in their roles till January 2022.