Former Star India CEO, Peter Mukerjea’s ambitions of making it big at struggling broadcast venture INX Media Pvt Ltd have crashed. After failing to take 9X, INX Media's flagship general entertainment channel, anywhere close to the top, Peter and his wife, Indrani Mukerjea, who is the Founder & CEO, have stepped down from their respective management positions.
Peter, who is the chairman and chief strategy officer at INX Media, and Indrani would relinquish their positions at the end
of March 2009 and April 2009 respectively. The husband-wife duo would continue to hold their minority stakes in INX Media.
The identity of the majority owners of INX Media has been kept under wraps.
Pradeep Guha, who was with Bennett, Coleman & Co for over 26 years and then CEO of Zee Entertainment, has joined INX Media as a consultant. Guha is understood to have been roped in for a two-month period to try and rehabilitate the company and help find a CEO, according to sources close to the development. Guha could not be reached on his mobile phone.
A senior media professional, who did not wish to be named, said “the Mukerjeas were asked to step down as they proved unsuccessful in taking the new broadcast venture to desired levels." Mukerjea had quit Star India after a bitter turf war with Samir Nair, who was the chief operating officer at the Rupert Murdoch-owned broadcast business.
Indrani, who had no prior experience of broadcast business, was made the CEO of INX Media as Peter was required to spend a “cooling period” before taking up another assignment, as provided in the employment contract with Star TV.
“Clearly, at an overall level, the INX group has not performed as per expectations and this is a likely fallout so that investors have an opportunity to revamp operations, starting with a clean slate,” said Chandradeep Mitra, an independent media consultant.
“I have nothing more to say than what is there in the press statement,” Peter said. The statement said “Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, promoters of INX Media Pvt Ltd, have chosen to step down from their current management roles. Indrani will be doing so from end of April 2009 and Peter from end of March 2009. They will, however, continue to be shareholders of the company.”