Facebook appoints former Hotstar executive Ajit Mohan as India MD & VP
New Delhi, Sep 24: Social media giant Facebook Monday said it has roped in former Hotstar chief executive Ajit Mohan as Managing Director and Vice-President of its India operations.
In this newly created role of Managing Director for India, a VP-level role, Mohan will be responsible for aligning teams and driving Facebook's overall strategy in India, the US-based company said in a statement.
This is a new structure for Facebook India, where the senior leader reports to Facebook's headquarters at Menlo Park, US instead of Asia Pacific. He will join Facebook India early next year.
It has been a tough year for the world's largest social networking platform that has over 2.23 billion monthly active users. The US-based firm has been mired by controversies around data leaks of about 87 million users globally and fake news being circulated through its platform.
The company has drawn flak on these issues from policy makers across the world, including the Indian government that has shot off two notices to the firm over the data breach. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also warned the firm of "stringent" action for any attempt to influence polls that are slated for next year in India, which is one of the largest markets for Facebook with over 20 crore users.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has said upcoming elections in countries like India and Brazil will be "real tests" for the social media giant and exuded confidence that the firm will "get this right" given its recent crackdown on fake accounts given the active steps being taken by the company.
According to the statement issued Monday, Mohan will be responsible for Facebook's India strategy and for driving the company's continued investment in India.
"India is one of the largest and most strategically important countries for Facebook. As we think about what it will take to achieve our mission of bringing people together and building community, we know that investment in India is critical," the online firm's Vice-President (Business and Marketing Partnerships) David Fischer said.
He added that Mohan's depth of experience will help the company in its engagement with "communities, organisations, businesses and with policy makers".
"It is a unique opportunity to shape the agenda of a company that has brought the world closer together in one of the most exciting markets in the world. I look forward to championing India in Facebook and working with stakeholders across the spectrum to help build deep and meaningful communities across the country," Mohan said.
In October last year, Umang Bedi had stepped down from the India managing director position and Sandeep Bhushan was named as the interim managing director. The company has now restructured its operations in India.