Walt Disney International, a division of The Walt Disney Company, has announced that Mahesh Samat will return to The Walt Disney Company India as MD, heading all Disney businesses in India except ESPN.
Samat had left the company in 2012 to establish Epic Television Networks and was founder and MD of The Epic Channel. At Disney, he replaces Siddharth Roy Kapur, who has left the organisation to 'explore his own business interests' informed a company statement.
Samat will begin his next stint at Disney in end-November 2016.
Andy Bird, chairman, Walt Disney International, said, "Mahesh guided Disney in India in its early days, and we are thrilled with his decision to return to the organisation he helped build. We are encouraged by the opportunity we see to further grow our business in India and believe Mahesh’s entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge of our brands and franchises, and long-standing expertise in our broader operations will continue the momentum we are experiencing in this dynamic market. Sid (Roy Kapur) is a pillar of the Indian entertainment industry and has demonstrated passion and commitment for the Disney business. He carved a strong position for Disney in the Indian media and entertainment space that positions us well for the future. We are immensely thankful for his service and wish him well in his next venture,"
Based in Mumbai, Samat will report to Bird.
On his move back, he said, "It’s exciting to return to the wonderful world of Disney. Disney really is special entertainment with heart, and I am delighted to see that the unique stories and iconic characters of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars -- as well as our homegrown brands of Hungama, Bindass and UTV -- continue to find a home among Indian audiences. Moving forward, we’ll accelerate the great work done by the team and create new, innovative ways for audiences to engage with our stories, brands and characters, and drive growth across our businesses.”
In a career of over 25 years, Samat has also worked with J&J Vision Care, Kellogg’s, Warner Lambert/Parke-Davis and Boots India.