NEWS Corp has appointed Andrea Zappia as chief executive of Sky Italia, replacing Tom Mockridge, who left the broadcaster to fill the vacant top job at News International.
Zappia will leave his job as a director at former News Corp takeover target BSkyB with immediate effect.
He will take on the running battle with Italian Prime Minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi in the bid to be the top pay-TV operator in the country.
Zappia, a key lieutenant to James Murdoch, has a history with Sky Italia, having worked there for seven years following senior marketing roles at Ferrari, Fila and Procter & Gamble.
His predecessor Mockridge was parachuted into News Corp’s UK newspaper business News International last month after the resignation of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.
The former newspaper worker from Murdoch’s Australian business, now tasked with rescuing the tycoon’s British media operations in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, is seen as an antidote to Brooks’ gregarious management style.