Unilever exec to join Indian media company in August

LONDON — India’s Viacom 18 Media, which is a joint venture between Indian media conglom Network 18 and Viacom, has tapped Sudhanshu Vats as group CEO to replace Haresh Chawla, who left in late 2011.

Vats will join in August and oversee the company’s businesses including Comedy Central, MTV, Nick, VH1 and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.

He is an unusual choice for a media company, having spent 19 years at Hindustan Unilever, latterly as South Asia VP of the laundry division.

Viacom Intl. Media Networks president and CEO Bob Bakish said, “With Sudhanshu on board, we’re confident that Viacom18 will continue to redefine the many spaces it operates in.”

Network18 Group founder Raghav Bahl said, “Given Sudhanshu’s rich experience, his ability to lead large businesses and his acute understanding of the Indian diaspora, he is well poised to lead Viacom18 into its next phase of growth.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more