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Head of Disney-UTV to bow out

Ronnie Screwvala is to step down as managing director of Indian media giant Disney-UTV from 1 January 2014. Siddharth Roy Kapur, who currently heads up UTV Motion Pictures, will be his replacement.

Screwvala will remain in an advisory position for a further six months to ease the transition, the Walt Disney Company said.

Screwvala, who started his career in as with a Mumbai-based cable TV service called Network, went on to co-found UTV Software Communications in 1990. The Walt Disney Company initially bought a 15% minority shareholding in the media conglomerate in 2006, and then acquired the controlling stake for a reported US$454 million in February 2012.

"Ronnie had a clear mandate to merge two organisations, build a single team and lay the strategic direction for a diversified media and entertainment company that would be part of the growing India growth story," said Andy Bird, chairman, Walt Disney International. "When he passes on the baton in June 2014, he will leave the company in a great place strategically and with a strong leadership team."

UTV produces a range of television content from soap operas to children's television, as well as Bollywood films, including India's 2012 Oscar entry Barfi!

"It's been a fantastic seven-year working relationship with Disney, first as a co-shareholder, then when Disney held a majority stake in UTV, and since February 2012," said Screwvala in a statement.

Kapur has a background in consumer goods and media, having worked at both Star TV and UTV. He was responsible for the launch of the children's TV channel Bindass and has most recently been managing director of the Disney-UTV movie production division.

Screwvala is expected to focus on other entrepreneurial activities and his SWADES Foundation, which promotes rural empowerment in India.

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