A+E Networks makes top-level APAC appointments

MUMBAI: A+E Networks has announced a slew of management changes for the Asia Pacific region. Alan Hodges is exiting as managing director of Asia Pacific, with Saugato Banerjee selected to run North Asia and Leena Singarajah joining the company to oversee Southeast Asia and Australia.

Banerjee, as managing director for North Asia, and Singarajah, managing director for Southeast Asia and Australia, both report to A+E Networks executive managing director for international Edward Sabin.

Banerjee has been with A+E Networks since 2011 as head of strategy and business development for Asia. He will continue to manage growth in Korea and Japan and will chart A+E’s continued expansion in China.

“Saugato has brought to bear his excellent relationships and deft strategic vision to our Japanese and Korean businesses, driving A+E’s unparalleled innovation and strong execution in the region,” Sabin said. “I am excited to see him apply these unique skills to the further growth of our Chinese business. We anticipate great success under his sage guidance and leadership.”

Banerjee–who joined A+E in 2011–has played a key role in the rapid expansion of the South East Asian business, overseeing the digital, operations and research functions for the area. He also carried out responsibilities as a caretaker GM of AETN18 in India during a crucial period of change.

Prior to A+E Networks, Banerjee held various senior roles in media and advertising in his previous jobs at ESPN Star Sports, CNBC Asia Pacific, Contract Advertising and FCB India.

“Expanding my role in North Asia is a welcome challenge as we forge ahead to optimise the media landscape,” said Banerjee. “This is truly an exciting stage in A+E Networks’ evolution and I am pleased to be working with such a talented group of executives, in market and internationally.”

Former Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) executive, Singarajah has joined A+E Networks as managing director for Southeast Asia and Australia. Based in Singapore, Singarajah will be responsible for managing and growing A+E’s channels and media assets across Southeast Asia and Australia. She will also be tasked with expanding A+E’s digital strategy to fuel further growth in the regions.

Most recently, Singarajah served as MD for Asia at SNI, where she was responsible for developing and executing the growth strategy for the company’s lifestyle brands. Prior to this, she was head of sales and business development for Asia-Pacific at IMG Media where she oversaw content and channel distribution.

“Leena is an aggressive, experienced and whip-smart executive whose vast knowledge of the industry and acute business skills will help extend the reach of the A+E Networks on every entertainment platform throughout Southeast Asia and Australia,” said Sabin.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at A+E Networks and to lead the continued expansion of the company’s globally recognised brands in these exciting markets,” said Singarajah.

Hodges has been with A+E Networks in Asia since 2002. “Over the past 12 years, our team has built A+E Networks into one of the top media companies in the region. It has been a privilege working on such a dynamic business with such a talented team. I leave with full confidence that our new leadership will be well positioned for another decade of growth.”

“Alan Hodges has been a pioneer in A+E’s Asia Pacific business, with big shoes to fill,” Sabin said. “In a little over a decade, he has nurtured and grown A+E’s brands in the region and has in the process created tremendous value for us commercially. He has also attracted, mentored and led countless top rank executives in the A+E fold, including Prem, who will also leave behind a legacy of great successes in the region.”

A+E Networks deputy managing director Prem Kamath is also leaving. He will remain with the company through the end of October before moving on to pursue opportunities in the digital space.

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