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Thirty four-year-old Rishi Khiani, who sold his Urban Eye Media to Network18 Media and Investments Ltd in 2006, has stepped down as chief operating officer at Web18. The Internet arm of Network18 has another COO in Joyson Thomas.
“Rishi has decided to move on after completing his three-year contract. He has done a fantastic job of integrating Urban Eye into Web18. We appreciate his contribution,” said Surya Mantha, CEO, Web18.
Khiani confirmed the development, but did not say what his next move was. “I have a couple of offers. I have to decide between a VC firm and an Indian Internet company,” he said. There was speculation earlier that Khiani was joining Times Internet Ltd as CEO, replacing Dinesh Wadhawan, who left that company in March. Khiani denied he was joining TIL. “At Network18, I always had the freedom to go after the ideas that I thought were worthwhile. Through the Urban Eye acquisition, I could come in at the ground level and then be part of the core team that helped shape a leading Internet company in India,” he said.
Urban Eye is widely regarded as a wise investment by Network18. The company gave a design edge to Web18’s portfolio, which has been adding properties at a fast pace since then.