Exec replaces Tom Mockridge

The fallout from the phone hacking scandal at News Corp.’s British tabloids continues to have ripple effects on the conglom’s exec structure.

Andrea Zappia has been appointed CEO at pay TV satcaster Sky Italia after topper Tom Mockridge was tapped as chief exec at News Intl., the company’a U.K. wing, last month.

He replaced Rebekah Brooks, who stepped down as public outrage about phone tapping by the News of the World paper grew.

Zappia was in charge of marketing and business development at Sky Italia in Milan from 2003 to 2007, working with Mockridge to build the business into a money-spinner.

He was moved to London in 2007 to lead sales and marketing at U.K. satcaster BSkyB.

“I am delighted that Andrea is to return to Sky Italia, given he played such a key role in the team that has laid the foundations for its success,” said James Murdoch, News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer and chairman and CEO of international operations.

Zappia’s first challenge will be to keep increasing subscription numbers, which News Corp. estimates will hit more than 5 million by summer’s end, despite higher rates — a risky move in the current economic crisis.

Like Mockridge, Zappia must also navigate Italy’s treacherous political waters as Sky Italia continues to clash with prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV group.

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