Walt Disney International president Andy Bird has announced that Mahesh Samat has been appointed as managing director of Mumbai-based Walt Disney Company India.

Samat will join the company in January and manage all of Disney's businesses in India excluding the ESPN/Star Sports joint venture with News Corp's Star network. He replaces Rajat Jain who resigned in March to join Mumbai-based mobile company Mobile2Win.

A former Kellogg's executive, Samat was most recently at Johnson & Johnson in the role of managing director, southern Europe, for J&J Vision Care

Meanwhile, Star CEO Paul Aiello has announced the promotions of Uday Shankar to Star India CEO and Jadgish Kumar to Star India COO.

With immediate effect, Shankar, who joined Star India as COO in May 2007, will assume the CEO role, responsible for Star's overall business in India.

Kumar joined Star India in 1995 as CFO and has held a number of titles, including Senior Vice President, Finance at the company's Hong Kong headquarters since 2004.