BERLIN — Rocked by recent scandal that wiped out its share price, beleaguered German pay TV platform Premiere is looking to Italy for help.
Under the control of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Premiere has recruited top personnel from its more successful sister company, Sky Italia.
Among the three new senior executive appointments announced Tuesday is Giovanni Brunelli, Sky Italia’s former director of premium services and customer operations, who will take over as Premiere’s senior VP customer operations. Former marketing director Marcello Maggioni joins the Munich-based feevee operator as senior VP sales and marketing and Gaetano Pannito, who served as head of customer marketing at Sky Italia, has been appointed VP sales.
“Our immediate focus is to improve both customer satisfaction and our rate of new customer acquisition,” said Premiere CEO Mark Williams. “These appointments take advantage of the specific expertise and experience of these executives to achieve those objectives.”
In addition, Carsten Schmidt, Premiere’s head of sports and new business officer, will also oversee media sales and manage Premiere’s relationship with the outsourced media sales agency Premium Media Solutions.
With the all-important Christmas season approaching, the cleanup at Premiere is vital.
The appointments follow a devastating month for Premiere, which saw its share price plunge 50% after issuing a profit warning and admitting that it had nearly 1 million fewer subscribers than it had previously touted. The admission led to the resignation of Premiere’s chief financial officer, Alexander Teschner, just a month after the exit of former CEO Michael Boernicke, who Williams replaced.
Premiere is now expecting operating losses of between $56 million and $98 million this year, with subscriber figures of 2.4 million, compared to the 3.5 million reported in June.
Premiere shares, currently trading at $3.16, have slumped 85% since News Corp started building its 25% stake early this year.