Luminary announced that Rishi Malhotra – co-founder and former CEO of JioSaavn, and Vice President at HBO – joins Luminary as CEO to shape its new vision as the premiere audio platform for the world’s most thoughtful talent, including Dave Chapelle. The company also announced Pilot Boy Productions, owned by Chapelle, has invested in Luminary and joined Luminary’s Board of Directors with its seat filled by Ben Jealous. Two additional new members will also join Jealous on Luminary’s Board of Directors – Heather Hiles and Mara Buxbam.
“Luminary is a one-of-a-kind company that is becoming the home for artists with a unique point of view, from Dave Chapelle and Roxane Gay to Russel Brand, Lena Dunham, and Guy Raz. We are developing new original programming with particular focus on the luminaries of music, sports, and comedy,” said Rishi Malhotra, Luminary CEO.
“We are going beyond subscriptions to deliver products that connect that connect fans more uniquely to creators. I’m honored to work with the exceptional team and talent partners at the company,” said Malhotra. “In my view, we are at a crossroads of shaping new media that entertains, educates, and elevates us. The Midnight Miracle is an example of a new audio format in every way. It’s not just podcasts anymore. It’s Luminary.”
Malhotra, who was named in Rolling Stone’s Future 25 in 2021 and Billboard’s 2021 International Power Players, founded by India’s premiere music streaming service, in 2008. Malhotra developed projects with U2, Beyonce, Nas, Marshmello, and many others. He drove company growth that created $1.5 billion in enterprise value and resulted in a merger with telco giant Jio, creating JioSaavn in 2018. Prior to funding Saavn, Malhotra served as a Vice President at HBO, and from 2003 to 2008 he built and launched HBO On Demand, and also worked on the critically-acclaimed HBO Series The Wire.
Chapelle, who along with yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, is a creator and executive producer of the acclaimed Luminary Original show The Midnight Miracle, also executive produces additional audio content at Luminary.
“I chose Luminary because they value artists and share my vision for re-imagining audio content. The Midnight Miracle and our unique format is changing the podcast experience,” said Chapelle. “At Luminary, we are creating an authentic space for inspired artists to develop and share their original content,” he added.
“We are honored that this world-class group of leaders are joining to push Luminary into our next stage of growth,” said Matt Sacks, Luminary Executive Chairman. “Rishi has proven his ability to build a differentiated audio streaming company with unique creative sensibilities. We are equally proud to have a creator partner like Dave Chapelle demonstrating his belief in our vision by investing in Luminary’s future,” he added.
After serving as Luminary’s CEO for more than two years, Simon Sutton informed the Board at the end of 2021 that he would be leaving his position. Sutton will remain on Luminary’s Board of Directors.
“We are grateful for Simon’s leadership and are delighted he will remain on as Luminary’s team as a member of our Board,” added Sacks.