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Comcast on Wednesday named Dana Strong the CEO of European pay TV giant Sky Group, succeeding Jeremy Darroch who decided to step down and will serve as executive chairman of the European pay TV giant through 2021.
Strong most recently served as president, consumer services for Comcast Cable and will report to Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. During her tenure, the company said it “achieved record subscriber and broadband growth and the company’s highest levels of customer satisfaction.”
With more than 25 years of international experience in telecommunications and media, Strong was previously president and COO of Virgin Media in the U.K., chief transformation officer at John Malone’s Liberty Global, and COO of Austar in Australia.
“There are few businesses that have the track record of Sky, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the company,” Strong said. “I’ve always admired Sky’s innovation, brand, and exceptional focus on the customer. I look forward to working with this incredible team to continue to grow the business and shape the next chapter for Sky.”
Comcast acquired Sky in late 2018 after outbidding the Walt Disney Co.
Darroch is one of the longest-serving leaders of a major British company, having been CEO of Sky since 2007, after serving as group CFO since 2004. “During that time, he has tripled the size of the business and led the transformation of the company into Europe’s largest multi-platform TV provider with nearly 24 million customers,” the company said. “Jeremy has accelerated the development of award-winning technology and championed Sky’s broader contribution to the society and communities in which it operates, overseeing the expansion of its commitment to sport, U.K., and European originated content, in-depth news, the arts, young people, and the environment.”
Roberts said: “I would like to thank Jeremy for his exceptional leadership of Sky and his partnership since we acquired the company. Sky’s values have been a perfect fit for ours, and I credit Jeremy with building an incredible culture and executing the seamless integration with Comcast. He and his team have established a world-class brand and a strong, well-run business that will continue to flourish. Jeremy has been a terrific colleague to me and everyone at Sky, but I respect his decision, and I am pleased that he’s agreed to stay on to help with the transition and advise the company.”
Roberts also lauded Strong, saying: “She is an accomplished executive with an extraordinary ability to transform, inspire and drive positive change. She quickly made her mark on our US business, driving growth and innovation with an unwavering commitment to our customers. Her global experience and vision coupled with her leadership and track record at some of the largest media and telecommunications companies in the world make her the perfect leader for Sky.”
Darroch said: “It has been a privilege to lead Sky for 13 years, and an experience that I have looked forward to every day, so my decision to leave has not been easy. But with the business firmly settled into the wider Comcast Corporation and a strong plan in place, now is the right time.”
He added: “I have no doubt that Dana will take Sky into a new and exciting future. Her proven record for leading telecommunications and media businesses coupled with her experience in the U.S., U.K., and Europe will be great assets to Sky and I look forward to working with her as she takes the reins.”
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