Star India has appointed Gautam Thakar as the CEO of Star Sports. Thakar, currently working with Washington DC-based investment firm Revolution LLC, will take up the new role from 15 January. Thakar replaces Nitin Kukreja, who quit the company in March.
Earlier this month, Kukreja joined IQuest Enterprises as CEO. IQuest is a franchise owner in three sporting leagues.
Thakkar brings with him over 20 years of deep operating and leadership experience. He started his career as a brand manager with P&G in India, then led baazee.com as a founder team member to become the No 1 e-commerce company in India (acquired by eBay in 2004). He then spent 10 years in eBay in a variety of leadership roles ranging from the country manager for eBay India to global marketing leader for 18 International eBay markets; P&L owner for a multi-billion dollar cross-border trade business, CEO of shopping.com (an eBay acquisition) and GM responsible for building a multi-hundred million dollar Adtech business before leading the turnaround at LivingSocial (acquired by Groupon).
Thakar holds an MBA degree from IIM, Lucknow, and a Bachelor’s in Commerce from Sydenham College, Bombay.
Thakar’s immediate challenge will be to manage and monetize Star’s biggest sporting asset at this stage, the Indian Premier League.
Star is home to a various other leading domestic and International sporting properties. Star Sports network with twelve channels broadcasts premier sporting events which include cricket coverage under the purview of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and Asian Cricket Council (ACC); VIVO Pro Kabaddi; Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL); Karnataka Premier League (KPL); Football under Hero Indian Super League (ISL), Premier League, Bundesliga; Badminton under Badminton World Federation (BWF) events, Premier Badminton League (PBL); including the recently launched Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT); and other premium sports such as Formula 1; Wimbledon, The French Open and the US Open.