CEO of British Sky Broadcasting
Darroch stepped into big shoes when he was promoted three years ago from CFO to CEO of British Sky Broadcasting. He took over from James Murdoch, whose father Rupert’s News Corp owns 39% of the satcaster. Darroch is sometimes described as the softer face of Sky, lacking the trademark aggression of typical Murdoch execs, but the pace of deal-making under his leadership has never slackened. The satcaster is ferociously committed to maintaining its dominant position in the UK pay-TV market, in the face of threats from rivals and regulators.
The $250 million million purchase of the Living TV group of channels from Virgin Media, a five-year $230 million output deal with HBO, a drive into high-def and a push into original entertainment have strengthend the satcaster’s programming. Darroch’s biggest challenge is to handle News Corp’s $11.5 billion offer for the 61% stake it doesn’t already own. The board is holding out for over $13 billion, but EU regulators may yet block the takeover bid anyway.
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