Comcast Expected to Appoint Maximo Ibarra as New Sky Italia CEO

Colombian-Italian executive Maximo Ibarra is expected to be appointed CEO of Comcast-owned pay-TV operation Sky Italia, which has been without a chief executive for the past seven months, a source close to Sky Italia tells Variety.

An announcement is believed imminent that Ibarra will be the Italian paybox’s new chief after it was announced Tuesday that he is leaving his position as CEO of Dutch phone company KPN at the end of the summer and returning to Italy to take up a new executive position.

The source close to Sky Italia confirmed Italian press reports that Ibarra is set to step into the top Sky Italia job. The position has been vacant since late November 2018, when former Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia was promoted to Sky Chief Executive for Continental Europe and reportedly entrusted with appointing his successor in Italy.

“It’s been a long and complicated process,” the source said. Sky Italia did not comment.

Prior to being appointed to head KPN in 2018, Ibarra, who is 50, was CEO of Italian telecom company Wind Tre. His expertise in that sector is considered a good fit with Sky Italia’s plans to link content and high-speed broadband service in Italy thanks to its recent deal with Italian broadband operator Open Fiber.

Though Sky Italia faces increased competition from streamers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, the mostly satellite-operated paybox more than doubled its profits in 2018 to almost €100 million ($113 million) and slightly increased its subscribers to 4.8 million. In January, Sky Italia crossed the 5-million-subscriber mark thanks to its new offerings via Open Fiber.

As Sky Italia CEO, Ibarra would report to Zappia, who in turn reports to London-based Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch. Ibarra is expected to take up the Sky Italia position in October after leaving KPN on Sept. 30.

More TV

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]


    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content