Viacom 18 is a joint venture of Network 18, the media group controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and U.S. media conglomerate Viacom. Rahul Joshi, managing director of the Network 18 group, will take charge.
Under Vats’ leadership, Viacom 18 grew from a six channel set-up to a 54-channel conglomerate. These include the Colors bouquet of general entertainment channels across several Indian languages, MTV, Nickelodeon, Vh1 and Comedy Central. It also operates streamer Voot. Its offshoot, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures has co-produced several acclaimed films including “Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Kahaani,” and “Queen.”
Prior to joining Viacom 18, Vats spent some 20 years at Unilever India.
Vats said: “I have had the privilege of working with some of the best minds in the M and E industry to chart the growth story of Viacom 18. We have together built one of the most admired media company 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.”
“While we are sad to lose (Vats), it is equally reassuring to know that we have a strong second line that’s raring to go,” said Adil Zainulbhai, Network 18 chairman.