Wednesday 6 January 2021 1:34 pm

Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch to step down

Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch is stepping down after 13 years at the helm of the media giant.

Darroch, who is one of the UK’s longest-serving bosses, will retire as chief executive and take up the role of executive chairman.

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He will be replaced by Dana Strong, who is currently president of consumer services at Comcast Cable, another subsidiary of Sky’s parent company Comcast.

Darroch took the reins at Sky in 2007, having taken over as chief financial officer in 2004.

During this era he has overseen the company’s growth into a pay-TV giant, tripling the size of the business and taking its customer base to nearly 24m.

He has also led Sky into new ownership following its £30bn sale to Comcast in 2018. The deal, which came after a hotly-contested auction with 21st Century Fox, cut the media group’s ties with founder Rupert Murdoch.

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Under his tenure, Sky has also moved into streaming with the launch of Now TV and doubled down its focus on producing original programming.

Darroch said the decision to step down was not easy, but that “with the business firmly settled into the wider Comcast Corporation and a strong plan in place, now is the right time”.

Brian Roberts, Comcast chairman and chief executive, said: “Sky’s values have been a perfect fit for ours and I credit Jeremy with building an incredible culture and executing the seamless integration with Comcast.  

“He and his team have established a world-class brand and a strong, well-run business that will continue to flourish.”

Strong has more than 25 years’ experience in telecoms and media in the US, UK and Europe.

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Prior to her role at Comcast Cable, which operates broadband and TV services in the US, she was president and chief operating officer of Virgin Media in the UK.

Roberts described the new chief executive as “an accomplished executive with an extraordinary ability to transform, inspire and drive positive change”.

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