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Comcast appoints successor as long-term Sky boss Darroch steps down

By PA News

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Mr Darroch took the role in 2007 after serving as finance chief for three years. (Tristan Fewings/PA)

The chief executive who has led Sky for more than a decade is to step aside to make room for a new boss from the broadcaster’s parent company.

Jeremy Darroch announced he will step down as chief executive but will take the role of executive chairman until the end of 2021 to ensure a smooth transition.

He will be replaced by Dana Strong, a president of one of parent company Comcast’s US businesses.

Mr Darroch’s time in charge, after joining in 2007, makes him one of the longest-serving chief executives of a major company in the UK.

He oversaw the company’s privatisation in 2018, when Comcast paid £30 billion to see off a rival bid from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox to buy the listed company.

With the business firmly settled into the wider Comcast Corporation and a strong plan in place, now is the right time
Jeremy Darroch

His tenure has also seen the launch of Sky Arts, Sky+ and Now TV.

“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,” said Mr Darroch.

“But with the business firmly settled into the wider Comcast Corporation and a strong plan in place, now is the right time.”

Comcast chief executive 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.”

He called Ms Strong an “accomplished executive with an extraordinary ability to transform, inspire and drive positive change”.

Ms Strong was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, but was based in London between 2013 and 2018, with stints at Virgin Media and Liberty Global.

Most recently she has been president of consumer services at Comcast Cable, the US’s largest broadband and pay TV operator. The division has more than 30 million customers and 58 billion dollars (£43 billion) in revenue.

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