Sudhanshu Vats has stepped down from his position as the Viacom18 Group CEO and MD, after serving eight years at the helm.
At Viacom18, subsidiary of Network18, Vats expanded the media network’s footprint into new business lines of digital, experiential entertainment and consumer products. He also strengthened Viacom18’s position in Hindi mass entertainment, regional, kids, music and english entertainment and also made a mark by backing filmed entertainment business with content led cinema.
Under his leadership, Viacom18 has grown from a six to a 54-channel network with its video-on-demand platform, Voot, helping it establish a strong digital presence. Recently, Viacom18 also launched VOOT Select, a SVOD model for Voot.
As a part of the Network18 (RIL’s flagship in Media and Entertainment group), Viacom18 has grown as a prominent entertainment broadcaster excluding sports, with an 11.1 per cent viewership share, seeing a significant growth in broadcasting, film studio and OTT offerings.
Commenting on Vats’ retirement from the company, Network18 chairman of the Board Adil Zainulbhai said, “Vats is a dynamic and admired leader in corporate India today. Not only has he led from the front in shaping up Viacom18’s growth story, he has also championed the cause of the sector at the various industry bodies that he has captained. While we are sad to lose him, it is equally reassuring to know that we have a strong second line that’s raring to go. I’d like to wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.”
Vats leaves behind a strong leadership team which has grown the different verticals of the company into large businesses. Few reports suggest that post Vats’ farewell from the company on 15 April 2020, Network18 Group managing director Rahul Joshi will overlook and manage the respective verticals.
Speaking about his journey at Viacom18, Sudhanshu Vats added, “It has been an extremely challenging and satisfying eight years at the helm of Viacom18. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best minds in M&E industry to chart the growth story of Viacom18. We have together built one of the most admired media companies of brilliant storytellers with diversified presence across screens and platforms. As I look forward to taking up newer challenges, I shall always cherish the learnings in leading India’s youngest and fastest-growing media and entertainment company.”