Uday Shankar, president of Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star & Disney India, has decided to step down to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, the company informed. The resignations will be effective as of December 31,2020, announced Rebecca Campbell, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment.
However, he will remain with Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment through the end of 2020 to help find his replacement and ensure a smooth transition. Previously, he was president of 21st Century Fox for Asia and the chairman & CEO of Star India.
“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. His 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,” said Ms. Campbell. “Uday has been a great friend, colleague and valued counselor to me personally, and I know I speak for all of DTCI when I say he will be greatly missed. At the same time, I understand and respect his desire to make this change. I am extremely grateful that he has agreed to stay on to help ensure a seamless transition.”
Commenting on his decision to step down, Uday Shankar said, “I have always believed in the power of creativity and cutting-edge technology to create a better world and consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so at Star, 21CF and now at The Walt Disney Company. 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. For some time now, I have been contemplating the question of how I give back to the country, community and the industry that have given me so much. I think the best way to express my gratitude to all of them will be to support and mentor a new generation of entrepreneurs as they set out to create transformational solutions that will have a positive impact on countless lives. I intend to partner with global investors and pioneers to achieve this.”
He previously served as CEO and editor of Star News, which was the first 24-hour news channel in India. He was also the editor and news director at TV Today Group, where he supervised the launch of Aaj Tak in 2000 and Headlines Today, in 2003. Over the past decade, Shankar has played a key role in shaping the media and entertainment sector in India, bringing reforms for the industry and its consumers. He was the former president of Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), he is currently senior vice president of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and in line to take over as its next president.