All is not well at country’s leading broadcast network Disney Star as its top management is on its way out. Highly placed sources told Storyboard18 about exits at the top level in the Star Sports team of the network. The exodus of sorts can be attributed to the massive restructuring exercise that Disney is undergoing globally which can have impact on its India operations. The restructuring exercise is aimed at reducing overhead costs and ultimately cutting jobs.
To be sure, people who have resigned from their roles are Ambarish Bandyopadhyay, head of sports, Disney Star. Bandyopadhyay was promoted in September last year. He joined Star India (Star TV) in October 2018 as executive director. Vaibhav Goyal, senior vice president, Star Sports, Piyush Goyal, executive vice president, national head, affiliate sales, Disney Star also quit.
There have been exits at the director in sales level as well with Gazal, Abhishek Dogra, Arjun Kohli and Vivek Sagar putting in their papers at the broadcast company.
Recently, Nandini Singh, channel head of Star Bharat and Star Pravah, is also said to be moving on from Disney Star after close to 18 years. Singh joined the network in 2005 as manager- research and consumer insights. Later, she was promoted as senior manager, programming strategy followed by her promotion as the business head of Star Movies. In 2016, she became Star India’s English Cluster business head. And in 2018, she was appointed the channel head of Star Bharat.
There have been high level exits at Disney Star last year as well. In April 2022, Nitin Bawankule, head - ad sales, Disney Star India, quit to join Amazon Web Services as director & head - Digital Native Business - India & South Asia at Amazon Web Services (AWS). His exit came close on the heels of the exit of Sunil Rayan, President, and Head of Disney+ Hotstar. Anil Jayraj, ad sales head of Star Sports, had quit to join as CEO of Viacom18’ sports business in 2021.
In February, The Walt Disney Company announced today that it will be restructuring into three core business segments – Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Parks, Experiences & Products – in a bid to reduce overhead costs and ultimately cut 7,000 jobs. CEO Bob Iger said the changes are set to begin immediately with a goal of cutting $5.5 billion from expenses overall; projections include a 50 percent reduction in marketing budget and 30 percent labour cuts.