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Shekhar Gupta relinquishes corporate role at Indian Express; George Varghese named CEO

Reshuffle is effective August 28 as Viveck Goenka takes overall charge of Express Group

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | August 27, 2013

Shekha Gupta

In a sudden turn of events, Viveck Goenka has taken overall charge of Indian Express Group. Shekhar Gupta who has been the de facto CEO (he did not officially have the title of CEO) is relinquishing his corporate leadership responsibilities. Express Group old timer George Varghese has been named CEO of the Indian Express Group and he will report directly to Goenka.

Gupta who had a free hand at Express Group over the last many years will continue as Editor-in-Chief of the 77-year -old Express Group.

Varghese moves in from KEC International, a company owned by Harsh Goenka, where he was President, Distribution. Varghese had worked with The Indian Express from 1988 and 1998.

The new arrangement would be effective August 28, which is Janmashtami.

There has been some speculation in media circles in recent weeks about the return of the Express management to the Goenka family. Viveck Goenka’s son, Anant, had taken charge as Head and Director of New Media of the group last year.

Gupta broke the news to his colleagues in an internal mail on Monday evening, August 27, 2013. He wrote: “We are today acknowledged to be one of the soundest news media companies within-our-size category. And no, we never do paid news, or stretch any of the First Principles of Journalism. Never. The truth is, it is overly simplistic to say, that we have a Chinese wall between marketing and editorial. We have never needed one. Because it is our colleagues in sales and marketing who have protected our editorial integrity with as much zeal and commitment as us journalists. And yet, we have built such a fine company. It vindicates our belief, our founder's and our CMD Viveck Goenka's, that there is no contradiction between good journalism and the market.

“This is why, I believe, and can say with great satisfaction, that my job on the corporate side is now done...It is a perfect time, therefore, for me, to hand over a flourishing company back to Viveck, now that he has the time to take over the management. And since you can always trust him to pick the most auspicious day in the calendar, he has chosen, for the new arrangement, August 28, Janmashtami.”

Gupta also wrote that all editorial teams (except Loksatta), and brand, innovation, archive and CSR teams will continue working with him. He also said that he would focus on building EXIMS, the media school.


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