HONG KONG — In a surprise move, Gareth Chang has resigned as chairman and CEO of News Corp.’s Asian satcaster, Star TV.
Chang, who joined Star in September 1998, has also resigned his positions on the News Corp. board of directors and its executive committee.
In a statement, the company said Chang “has decided to explore other business opportunities.”
A native of China educated in the United States, Chang was brought in to help bolster the company’s efforts to make inroads on the mainland.
Strong presence sought
In addition to the wholly owned Star, News Corp. has a joint venture with Phoenix Satellite Television to produce two Chinese-lingo channels. Its 20th Century Fox Studio has also worked to develop a strong presence on the tightly controlled cinema circuit.
“We thank Gareth for his service to Star and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch.
News Corp. co-chief operating officer Chase Carey and executive vice president James Murdoch, Rupert’s son, have been appointed to co-chair Star on an interim basis.
Churchill steps in
Chang’s deputy CEO, Bruce Churchill, who is also chief operating officer, will assume “day-to-day operational responsibility” at Star, reporting to Carey and Murdoch.
When Chang first joined Star, he replaced Rupert Murdoch as chairman. Last October, Chang took on the added duties of CEO when Aussie Gary Davey ankled the satcaster.
Before joining Star, Chang, 57, spent five years at Hughes Electronics and was instrumental in launching the DirecTV digital satellite platform in Japan. Earlier in his career, he spent 20 years with McDonnell Douglas.