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Galaxy Brazil taps Loria topper

BUENOS AIRES — Leila Abraham Loria has been named this week head of Galaxy Brazil, which offers the leading direct-to-home service in the country, DirecTV. Loria will replace Jacques Wladimirski, who headed the company since February 1996 and oversaw the launching of the DirecTV service in August of the same year.

Loria, who formerly was commercial director of Wal-Mart in Brazil, will face the challenge of increasing DirecTV’s still small number of subs and keeping the company ahead of its only competition in Brazil, the Sky service, a joint venture of TCI, News Corp. and Brazil’s Globo. (Televisa from Mexico is part of the consortium in other Latin American countries.)

Galaxy Brazil is a subdivision of Galaxy Latin American, which is a joint venture of Hughes, Venezuela’s Cisneros, Mexico’s Multivision and Brazil’s TVA of the Abril group. In Brazil, TVA owns 75% of the company, while Hughes and Cisneros have 12% each.

A spokesman for Galaxy Brazil did not comment on the replacement of Wladimirski. A market source said the company was not happy with DirecTV’s sales structure implemented by Wladimirski.

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