SYDNEY — TV production company Southern Star’s topper Rory Callaghan has ankled in a move that has surprised the local industry.

Callaghan said he would remain in Australia, and in TV, but would not reveal his new employer.

He said he was “leaving behind a company with a phenomenal line up for 2012,” which includes “Big Brother,” the local version of “Deal or No Deal” and drama “Puberty Blues,” based on the Kathy Lette’s novel.

Callaghan joined Southern Star in 2006 and was upped to CEO in 2009 when content giant Endemol bought the production company.

Martha Brass, Endemol’s managing director of international operations, said, “Callaghan has nurtured an outstanding team who have set Southern Star on course for yet another year as one of Australia’s top-ranking producers. We are extremely grateful for the contribution he has made and wish him every success for the future.”