BSkyB ups Darcey to COO

Exec to replace Freudenstein

LONDON — Europe’s leading pay TV outfit, BSkyB, has upped Mike Darcey to chief operating officer from group commercial and strategy director as part of a wider management reshuffle.

Darcey succeeds Richard Freudenstein, who left the satcaster last summer to return to Australia.

Darcey will, among other duties, be responsible for leading rights negotiations with Hollywood studios and sports authorities.

Meanwhile, Brian Sullivan, BSkyB’s director of product strategy and management, takes over from Jon Florsheim as managing director, customer group.

Florsheim is quitting to become CEO of Homeserve GB and an executive director of Homeserve, the home emergency combo.

Vodafone Italy chief technology officer Didier Lebrat will jump to BSkyB in December in the same role, which has been newly created at the satcaster.

“The coming together of entertainment and communications is transforming the scale of the opportunities before Sky,” said BSkyB CEO James Murdoch. “These appointments ensure that Sky is well positioned as a challenger in the combined industry of pay TV, broadband and telephony and underscore the high caliber of Sky’s executive team.”

A BSkyB spokesman confirmed that Dawn Airey, managing director of channels and services, will not be affected by the changes. Airey’s contract comes up for renewal next year. She has been mentioned for the vacant CEO seat at ITV.

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