Uday Shankar will step down as president, The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star & Disney India, effective as of December 31, 2020, Rebecca Campbell, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, announced today.
Over the next three months, Shankar will work closely with Campbell to identify his successor to ensure a smooth transition. "I want to thank Uday for his leadership and dedication to our APAC business. With the successful launch of Disney+ throughout the region, he has helped put The Walt Disney Company in a commanding position in this dynamic and incredibly strategic part of the world," said Campbell.
She said Shankar's vast experience and expertise have been invaluable in bringing together a strong, cohesive APAC leadership team to chart a path forward for our streaming businesses in the region and beyond.
Shankar said he has always believed in the power of creativity and cutting-edge technology to create a better world. "As I look back on this journey, I take pride in having set ambitious goals in my professional career, and achieving all that we set out to do," he said.
He said for some time now, he has been contemplating how to give back to the country, community and the industry.The best way to express gratitude to all of them will be to support and mentor a new generation of entrepreneurs, he said. "I intend to partner with global investors and pioneers to achieve this," he said.
Shankar served as The Walt Disney Company APAC chief and Star & Disney India chairman since February 2019. Previously, he was president of 21st Century Fox for Asia and the chairman & CEO of Star India.
He took over the leadership of Star India in 2007, and transformed it into one of the largest and most successful media companies in Asia. Shankar led Star's aggressive foray into regional and local language programming, transforming it into a content powerhouse that now broadcasts over 30,000 hours of content every year.
He also consolidated Star's sports broadcasting operations through 21st Century Fox's acquisition of its joint venture with ESPN. Today, Star Sports is India's largest sports broadcaster and is fundamentally redefining India's sports ecosystem.
He is also credited with pioneering a multi-sports culture in India. In a single sport-dominated country like India, Star launched multiple domestic sports leagues like those in Kabaddi and Football.
Star has also made strides in disrupting the country's digital landscape, with the launch of Hotstar. It is now India's largest over-the-top (OTT) platform and has operations in the US, Canada and the UK.
He had previously served as CEO and editor of Star News, the first 24-hour news channel in India. He was also the editor and news director at TV Today Group, and spearheaded the launch of Aaj Tak in 2000 and Headlines Today in 2003.