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ABP News Network CEO Ashok Venkatramani quits

MUMBAI: ABP News Network (ANN) CEO Ashok Venkatramani has quit the company. Friday was his last day at ANN.

“I had put in my papers some time back. Friday was my last day in the company,” Venkatramani told TelevisionPost.com.

Ashok VenkatramaniUnder Venkatramani, ABP News Network channels ABP News, ABP Majha and ABP Ananda consolidated their respective positions. He also oversaw the company’s expansion into Gujarat with ABP Asmita. The company’s plans to launch ABP Sanjha in Punjab had hit a roadblock.

The company reported a net profit of Rs 60.5 crore on an operating income of Rs 404.1 crore in FY2016 (as per provisional numbers). In FY2015, the company reported a PAT of Rs 52.5 crore on an operating income of Rs 374.3 crore as per audited results.

Venkatramani started his career with Unilever, having been with them for 19 years, working on the foods and personal care side of the business in sales, marketing and general management roles.

He was the VP and business head for skincare at Unilever India before moving into his current role of the CEO at ANN, an ABP Group company (formerly a News Corp International and ABP joint venture) which runs a clutch of news channels.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) recently elected him as its president.

Incorporated on 30 May 2002 as a Star Group company, ANN was initially a content provider to Star News Broadcasting Ltd (SNBL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Star Group.

However, subsequent to the imposition of the 26% cap on foreign investment in news channels that seek to uplink from India and the requirement to have an Indian entity control 51% of the shareholding in news and current affairs channel, ABP Private Ltd (APL) was brought in as a partner with effect from 19 September 2003.

APL became the majority partner with 74% stake in ANN through its fully owned subsidiary, ABP TV Pvt Ltd (ABP TV). In April 2012, SNBL exited ANN and sold its remaining 26% stake to ABP TV. In FY2016, pursuant to a scheme of amalgamation, ABP TV was merged with ANN and the company is now a 100% subsidiary of APL.