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Jeremy Darroch steps down as Sky CEO

Jeremy Darroch, the CEO of European pay TV broadcaster Sky, is to stand down, with Dana Strong moving from parent company Comcast to replace him.

Jeremy Darroch

Darroch has been Sky CEO for 13 years and his departure follows December’s news that fellow company veteran Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, will be retiring this summer.

Darroch will be succeeded in the top job by Strong, who is currently president of consumer services at US broadband and pay TV operator Comcast Cable. Strong previously had a stint as chief operating officer of Sky’s rival UK pay TV operator Virgin Media.

Comcast beat 21st Century Fox to the ownership of Sky in a protracted US$39bn deal in September 2018.

Darroch will initially become executive chairman of Sky to oversee the transition through 2021, and will act as an advisor to the company thereafter.

He has been the longest serving of Sky’s five CEOs since its flotation on the stock market 26 years ago. During his tenure, Darroch has overseen growth including the takeover of sister companies Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in 2014 to form a European pay TV powerhouse.

A new studio development at Elstree in Hertfordshire is planned with £3bn (US$3.8bn) of investment as the satcaster continues to prioritise original programming and sports rights in the face of competition from global streaming giants.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said: “Jeremy has been a terrific colleague to me and everyone at Sky, but I respect his decision that now is the time for him to make a change. I am pleased that he’s agreed to stay on to help with the transition to new leadership, and will continue to advise me and the company.

“I am delighted that Dana Strong will be taking the helm at Sky. Dana is an accomplished executive with an extraordinary ability to transform, inspire, and drive positive change. She quickly made her mark on our US business, driving growth and innovation with an unwavering commitment to our customers.

“Her global experience and vision coupled with her leadership and track record at some of the largest media and telecommunications companies in the world make her the perfect leader for Sky.”

Darroch added: “It has been a privilege to lead Sky for 13 years, and an experience that I have looked forward to every day, so the decision to leave has not been easy. But with the business firmly settled into the wider Comcast Corporation and a strong plan in place, now is the right time.”

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