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Sony appoints Disney's Banerjee as new India CEO, sources say

By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Japan's Sony has appointed a Walt Disney executive, Gaurav Banerjee, as its new India chief executive to lead its television and other media businesses, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Banerjee has resigned from Disney's India unit where he was the head of content for its streaming service, Hotstar, and head of business for the company's TV channels in Hindi-speaking markets, one source said.

A second source said Banerjee would join Sony in about two months.

Disney declined to comment, while Sony and Banerjee did not immediately respond to repeated queries.

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Last week, Sony said it was looking for a successor to its current India chief executive, N.P. Singh, who had decided to move on.

Sony runs 26 channels in India, from general entertainment to sports and movies, and also a streaming service. This year, it scrapped a planned merger with India's Zee Entertainment that would have created a $10-billion enterprise.

Banerje's departure from Disney comes as the U.S. firm seeks Indian regulators' approval to merge its India media assets with those of Reliance, which is led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, in a combination making it India's biggest entertainment company.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)