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Sony CEO Kunal Dasgupta quits

February 19, 2009 13:48 IST

Multi Screen Media Private Limited (earlier known as Sony Entertainment Television India), announced on Thursday that its chief executive officer, Kunal Dasgupta has quit quoting personal reasons. The announcement was made by SPTI's president, international networks, Andy Kaplan.

In the meantime, MSMP appointed Man Jit Singh, chairman of the board of Multi Screen as the interim CEO.

Dasgupta is credited with growing SPTI's television networks business in India from one channel in 1995, Sony Entertainment Television, to Multi Screen, a host of channels that now includes not only SET, but also MAX, SAB and PIX.

Besides the overall management of all of Multi Screen's channels in India, Dasgupta also played a key role in the formation of a distribution bouquet, TheOneAlliance, a joint venture between Multi Screen and Discovery Communications India that distributes 18 channels throughout the subcontinent.

Besides distributing Multi Screen's channels, TheOneAlliance also distributes SPTI's AXN and ANIMAX channels, plus, Discovery, Animal Planet, Discovery Travel & Living, MTV, Nick, VH1, Aaj Tak, Tez, Headlines Today, NDTV Profit, NDTV 24x7, NDTV India and COLORS.

"Kunal was one of the first people to join what was then our only channel in India, Sony Entertainment Television, and has played an instrumental role in growing our channels business to what it is today," said Kaplan. "Kunal has amazing relationships with India's top directors, producers and actors, plus close ties to the cricket world. While Kunal's experience and leadership will be greatly missed, we are fortunate that Multi Screen has strong existing management and the business is strategically focused."

Dasgupta leaves Multi Screen well-positioned for further growth, with stable management, strong programming schedules, and rights to Indian Premier League cricket, making it one of the most valuable properties in Indian television.

Dasgupta joined SET before its launch in July 1995 and was one of the first employees. Prior to joining the company, he held executive positions at Mattel Toys and later, the DGP group, where he was a key member of the senior management.

He is a member of numerous industry boards, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Indian chapter of the International Advertising Association, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and several others. He is also a member of the key advisory group to India's Minister of Information and Broadcasting. He is a fellow of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.