Network18 ups Saikumar to Group CEO

Niraj Rathod

29 Oct 2011
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The Network18 Group has announced elevation of B Saikumar as its Group CEO. Saikumar, 37, replaces Haresh Chawla who recently quit.

In his new role, Saikumar will be responsible for the strategic and operational management of the Network18 Group. He would have direct responsibility of the Group’s News, Web, Publishing, Factual Entertainment and allied businesses which would include the IBN General News Network, CNBC TV18/ Awaaz Business News Network, Web18, Yellow Pages, Forbes India, AETN18 and the niche magazine stable among others.

Saikumar will also shortly be joining the Boards of Viacom18 and HomeShop18. The current CEOs and Management Teams of Viacom18 and HomeShop18 will continue to report to their respective Boards.

The company said that Network18 founder and editor Raghav Bahl is expected to step up engagement with the management teams of Viacom18 and HomeShop18 and Saikumar will be working closely with him on both of these businesses.

Bahl said, “Haresh has led Network18 with extraordinary distinction in the first phase of our growth and identity. Now, as we gear up for our most ambitious phase yet, I am convinced that Sai (or “B Saikumar” as the world knows him, formally) has the inclusive skills and mature leadership that are needed to get us there - he has our best wishes and our wholehearted support.”

Prior to this development, Saikumar was serving as Group COO and was responsible for leading management teams across Group companies apart from being a core member of Network18’s Business Strategy Team. Through his decade long stint, he has been responsible for providing “operational leadership” and enabling “stellar organic growth across the Group’s market leading brands”, the company said.

He has also played an integral role in the various inorganic forays of the Group across businesses.

Chawla said, “I am absolutely delighted to handover the mantle to Sai, who has worked very closely with me for over a decade, as we built the Network18 franchise. He has seen the Network grow from its very early days across various businesses, which has given him a width of experience that is tough to find in the media business. He is an accomplished leader and a true people's person and I have no doubt that he'll take the legacy forward to even greater heights. I will always be available to him as a friend and mentor and wish him success.”

Saikumar added, “It’s an honour to lead this world-beating team at Network18. The next phase of growth promises to be exciting and I look forward to it. Building upon the inspiring legacy left behind by Haresh, we have some very ambitious dreams for the future and we intend to see each one of them fulfilled.”

Saikumar will be reporting into Bahl in this new capacity. Prior to joining the Network18 Group in 2000, Saikumar was with the Times of India Group, where he worked with Times Music and Times FM.
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