Mehta to lead biz operations at NBC Uni


NBC Universal has named former ESPN executive Salil Mehta president of business operations, strategy and development. He will report to president and CEO Jeff Zucker.

In his new role Mehta, will be responsible for leading NBC Uni's global business strategy and corporate development activities, including identifying industry trends and investment opportunities and continuing to shift the company's asset portfolio toward high-growth areas.

"Salil is a first-rate strategic thinker and dealmaker, with a proven track record," Zucker said. "He's got a knack for picking the right opportunities at the right time."

Mehta previously served as executive vp at Disney's ESPN Enterprises, where he was responsible for all of ESPN's nonbroadcasting businesses, including new media, broadband, mobile, publishing, video games and consumer products. Among other things, Mehta led the transition from ESPN's original mobile business model to a licensing deal with Verizon Wireless.

Mehta joined Disney in 1994 as manager of corporate strategic planning and spent 11 years in the conglomerate's corporate strategic planning group.

Among his work there, he led the development and launch of new businesses and played a role in formulating Disney's long-term growth strategy, as well as merger and acquisition plans. For example, he led the development of Disney CEO Robert Iger's first Five Year Strategic Plan.

Mehta said Tuesday that broadband and mobile will be among NBC Uni's continued growth opportunities in the digital age. In these and other emerging areas, "there is incredible opportunity for great content," he said.