In a bid to consolidate its presence in India amid calls to curb fake news and other sinister campaigns on social media platforms, Facebook on Monday announced to appoint Ajit Mohan, CEO of popular video streaming platform Hotstar, as Managing Director and Vice-President, Facebook India.
Set to begin his Facebook innings early next year, Mohan will be responsible for driving Facebook's overall strategy and continued investment in India where it has over 270 million users -- reporting directly to the Menlo Park (California)-based headquarter and not to the Asia Pacific team.
"Ajit's depth of experience will help us to continue to have a positive impact in India across communities, organisations, businesses and with policy makers," David Fischer, Vice-President of Business and Marketing Partnerships, Facebook Inc, said in a statement.
The post was lying vacant for almost a year when Umang Bedi resigned as Facebook India Managing Director in October last year. Bedi is now President of Dailyhunt, a local language news and entertainment aggregator.
Ajit will lead a senior leadership team in the country to intensify the company's efforts to help people in India connect with the people and things they care about the most.
The job comes with a huge responsibility as a time when India is set for general elections next year and the government has taken a harsh stand on not allowing social media platforms to abuse India's election process amid calls from various stakeholders for stringent measures backed by laws on data protection and individual privacy.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also launched a preliminary enquiry against the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica for alleged illegal harvesting of personal data of Indians from Facebook.
"I am delighted to take on the mantle of shaping Facebook's charter in India. 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," said Mohan.
An alumnus of McKinsey and Company's New York office where he worked with media companies around the globe, Mohan launched and built Hotstar, Star India's over-the-top (OTT) service, into India's leading premium video streaming platform.
He is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
"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," said Mohan.