Salil Mehta, until recently the executive in charge of strategic thinking and dealmaking at ESPN Inc., has moved to NBC Universal as president of business operations, strategy and development. He will report to NBCU President-CEO Jeff Zucker.
The move has been expected for months.
In his new position, Mr. Mehta will lead NBCU’s global business strategy and corporate development activities. He will be responsible for identifying industry trends and investment opportunities and for continuing to shift the company’s portfolio toward high-growth areas.
“Salil is a first-rate strategic thinker and dealmaker, with a proven track record. He’s got a knack for picking the right opportunities at the right time. Coupled with his operational experience, this makes Salil a great addition to our team,” Mr. Zucker said in Tuesday’s announcement.
Mr. Mehta was executive VP of ESPN Enterprises and manager of ESPN’s non-broadcasting businesses including new media, broadband, mobile, publishing, videogames and consumer products. Mr. Mehta led the Web site’s transition to an innovative licensing agreement with Verizon Wireless.
Before joining ESPN, Mr. Mehta was executive VP of corporate business development and strategic planning for the Walt Disney Co., where he developed and launched new businesses and played a senior role in developing long-term growth strategies and plans for mergers and acquisitions. He led the development of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s first five-year strategic plan.
He also played a key corporate role in ESPN’s affiliate and rights acquisitions strategies, the growth of Disney’s international TV businesses and the development of Disney’s broad distribution strategy.
Mr. Mehta joined Disney in 1994 as manager of corporate strategic planning.