B Sai Kumar, who took over as group chief executive officer (CEO) of the Network18 Group from Haresh Chawla in late 2011, has put in his papers, as per a company statement. He will also step down from all the board of the group’s various joint ventures.
Kumar’s next move is not known as of now.
Commenting on the development Raghav Bahl, founder & editor of Network18 said, “Sai has been one of the key pillars of the Network18 story. I am truly privileged to have been able to work with someone like Sai who has, I daresay, given the prime of his life to the growth & development of our baby called Network18, right from the days when it was a fledgling single channel operation to its evolution as one of India’s largest and most diversified & respected media companies.”
B Sai Kumar, 39, oversaw the group’s diverse portfolio of assets spanning news & entertainment broadcasting, digital & print publishing, filmed entertainment, digital commerce and other allied businesses. This includes a TV network comprising more than fifteen national and regional channels straddling general & business news, mass entertainment, youth, kids, English entertainment, factual entertainment and home shopping genres.
The group also operates a bouquet of web portals and a stable of special interest magazines apart from having a presence in areas such as entertainment ticketing, virtual commerce, and broadcast services.
Responsible for the strategic and operational management of the group, Kumar led management teams of all group businesses including the IBN general news network, CNBC-TV18/Awaaz business news network, Web18, Forbes India, Network18 Publishing, amongst others. Apart from this, Kumar oversaw the group’s interests in A+E Networks|TV18, Viacom18, HomeShop18 and BookMyShow. He also help set up the group’s distribution foray – Indiacast in partnership with Viacom.
He joined the group in 2000 from Times Group, where he was involved with Times Music and Times FM. He started his career with the group with sales and was serving as the COO of the firm when he was elevated in late 2011 as CEO. He took over from Haresh Chawla.
Network18 Media and Investments Ltd reported consolidated revenues of Rs 2,692.4 crore for the year ended March 31, 2014, up 12 per cent over FY13 with EBITDA reporting a turnaround led by increase in profits generated by the television operations and reduction in operating losses of the digital businesses.