MUMBAI: In a move that seems like a precursor to the merger of 21st Century Fox’ assets with the Walt Disney Company, the world’s largest entertainment company on Monday transferred Mahesh Samat, senior VP and managing director at Walt Disney International, South Asia, to a new role of executive vice president of Disney Consumer Products Commercialization for the Asia Pacific region.
With Samat’s moving, insiders say it is expected that Fox and Star India leadership may get bigger role in the merged entity in India and Asia.
Samat, who had rejoined The Walt Disney Company in India in November 2016, went on to integrate the Southeast Asia and India businesses to form The Walt Disney Company’s South Asia regional hub in September 2017. He previously led The Walt Disney Company’s India operations from 2008-2012.
Reporting into Ken Potrock, President, Disney Consumer Products Commercialization, Samat will take on the responsibility for the commercialisation of Disney franchises across merchandise, publishing and licensed games throughout India, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
“The Asia Pacific region continues to provide immense opportunity for Disney products and experiences,” said Potrock. “I am confident that Mahesh’s proven leadership and steadfast focus on innovation and entrepreneurship will deliver dynamic growth across our brands and product categories.”
“Disney products and experiences bring our stories and characters closer to fans every day. I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead this exceptional team to delight kids and families across these high growth Asian markets,” Samat said.
With more than 25 years of experience in FMCG, media and healthcare across India, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Samat previously worked with Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis and Boots India. He also established the Epic Television Networks and its Hindi-language channel.
The development was reported by ETRetail.com