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Google veteran appointed head of Disney+ Hotstar

Google’s Sajith Sivanandan has been named EVP and Head of Indian streaming service Disney+ Hotstar.

Sivanandan will lead the service’s overall business operation and have direct oversight of strategic business focuses and future growth plans. He’ll also work closely with Disney managers in local territories and the Disney+ team in the U.S. Disney+ Hotstar, which came into being in 2019 when Disney bought Fox’s entertainment assets, has quickly become India’s biggest streaming service by subscriber numbers.

Sivanandan takes on his role in October with a dual reporting line to Rebecca Campbell, chairman of Disney’s international content and operations group and K Madhavan, who is Country Manager for The Walt Disney Company India and President of Disney+ Hotstar parent Disney Star, which houses all of the Mouse House’s local operations.

He joins from Google, where he spent nearly 15 years — most recently as Managing Director and Business Head of Google Pay. However, he’s no stranger to content and broadcast businesses, having begun his career with Star TV in India in the late 1990s, managing North India for Channel V.

“His deep experience in the region, combined with his strong leadership and business management skills will greatly benefit Disney+ Hotstar as the platform embarks on its next phase of growth,” said Campbell.

“After witnessing rapid growth in recent years, the OTT market in India has entered a transformational phase which calls for an ingenious approach to the manner in which we innovate for growth. Sajith’s wealth of experience that he has gained over the years makes him the best person to lead Disney+ Hotstar on this journey,” added Madhavan. Deadline

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