Unscripted

FremantleMedia hires Desai for financial role

The American Idol producer has hired former HIT Entertainment exec Sangeeta Desai (pictured) as chief operating officer and chief financial officer, effective immediately.
January 15, 2013

American Idol and X Factor producer FremantleMedia has hired former HIT Entertainment exec Sangeeta Desai (pictured) as chief operating officer and chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Based in the company’s London office, Desai will oversee day-to-day operations, including financial performance, legal and business affairs, IT, purchasing and procurement. She will also sit on FremantleMedia’s board of directors.

Desai was previously the COO of children’s entertainment producer and distributor HIT Entertainment, where she was responsible for revenue functions including TV, brands, consumer products, DVD, and live events/attractions, in addition to day-to-day operations. Prior to that, she was a principal at private equity firm Apax Partners and held positions in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

“Sangeeta has an exceptional track record of driving strong business growth and operational performance, along with a deep understanding of the media industry and FremantleMedia’s key business areas,” said CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz in a statement. “She has clear expertise in successfully implementing strategies that substantially increase company value, as well as greatly enhancing operational effectiveness and efficiency.”

“Joining FremantleMedia presents an exciting opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading entertainment brands and industry figures,” Desai added. “FremantleMedia’s businesses and the teams behind them represent the most innovative and creative in the industry, and I am thrilled to be joining the team.”

Desai replaces outgoing COO Gary Carter, who resigned last May to pursue other opportunities.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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