Star India is understood to have split the functions and management of the group between chief executive officer Peter Mukerjea and chief operating officer Sameer Nair. The latter has been given the role of CEO Star Entertainment India while the former is now the CEO of Star Group India. Star India has essentially been split up into an operational entity and a corporate one.

Peter Mukerjea will also continue to lead Star Group in India as its Chief Executive Officer, responsible for all corporate functions such as legal, finance, government affairs, corporate communications as well as managing Star’s investments, including Tata Sky, Hathway, Balaji and MCCS. He will also spearhead the development of new business opportunities in India. Mukerjea will continue to report to Michelle Guthrie, Chief Executive Officer of Star.

Sameer Nair has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer, Star Entertainment in India, overseeing all day-to-day operations including programming, marketing, advertising sales and distribution while pursuing growth opportunities in new media including wireless and internet. Reporting to Steve Askew, Nair will work to fortify Star۪s leadership position in India.

The Star Group COO, Steve Askew has been named President of Star Entertainment. This is in addition to the position of Star Chief Operating Officer that Askew has been holding since December 2003. Askew’s appointment is effective immediately. In his expanded role, he will oversee Star’s operating divisions across the region, with his portfolio expanding from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and the Middle East to India.

Commenting on the announcement, Michelle Guthrie said, “The reorganization reflects the scale to which our operations have grown in India. The new structure will enable us to optimize our resources in expanding our leadership position in the television landscape while aggressively creating new opportunities in India’s thriving marketplace.”

“It is gratifying that we have a strong team of experienced and talented executives to lead the company into future growth. Steve is one of the most astute and creative television executives I have worked with. He has provided key leadership across all operating functions in the company and has been instrumental in building Star into Asia’s leading media company. This well-deserved promotion recognises the expansion of Steve’s responsibilities in covering our operations in India as we work together to strengthen our market positions across the region.”

“Sameer was the key driving force to our ratings turnaround in India in 2001. Since then, Sameer’s intuitive knowledge of television entertainment has helped Star India deliver record results in ratings and revenues. His promotion is a testament to the contribution he has made to build Star into the number one network in India. The new reporting structure aligns our creative forces and operational teams across the region, enabling us to continue developing compelling and successful content across different delivery platforms for years to come.”

Guthrie continued, “Peter has done an exceptional job in leading our highly talented local team to grow our businesses exponentially in India. Under the spin-off, we will be able to exert a greater impact on our existing investments in India, particularly with the imminent launch of the Tata Sky DTH service. Peter’s unique insights, extensive experience and strong business acumen will be invaluable as Star actively pursues new business opportunities to serve consumers throughout India.”