Jeremy DarrochCEO of British Sky BroadcastingDarroch 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...
If 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky, Europe’s largest pay TV operator, moves ahead, it is unlikely to result in a change in Sky’s strategy or the departure of its well-respected CEO, Jeremy Darroch.
Darroch, who became CEO of the U.K.-Ireland pay-TV operator BSkyB in 2007, saw a dramatic expansion of his responsibilities following the company’s 2014 merger with Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, which saw Germany, Austria and Italy added to its domain, creating a customer base of 22 million. Yet this is seen as just the start for Darroch, who points to the 65 million households in the five territories who have yet to take pay TV as a natural target for future growth.
There are two main prongs to the company’s expansion strategy. First, Sky is adding to its existing content deals, such as its exclusive pacts with HBO and Showtime, and exclusive sports rights packages, with an aggressive ramping up of its original drama output, with a plethora of new shows like “Babylon Berlin” and “The Young Pope.”
Second, the company has invested heavily in improving its technological interface with customers, such as its rollout of Sky Q and Sky Go. These have made concepts like “TV everywhere” a reality.
Sky is expanding in adjacent areas of business, such as international program sales, and transactional services, and, when the opportunity presents itself, the company will move into new geographical areas. Its low-cost streaming service Now TV may be one means to launch in new markets. Darroch identified Spain as one such market to get the service by end of 2017.
Before joining Sky as chief financial officer in 2004, Darroch was group finance director of DSG Intl., formerly Dixons Group, and spent 12 years at Procter and Gamble in a variety of roles in the U.K. and Europe.