Brian Sullivan Exits as CEO of Sky Deutschland

Carsten Schmidt CEO Sky Deutschland

Carsten Schmidt CEO Sky Deutschland

Carsten Schmidt will replace Sullivan as CEO of Rupert Murdoch's German pay TV group.

Brian Sullivan is stepping down as CEO of Sky Deutschland, the pay TV group controlled by U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB, and will return to the United States.

Carsten Schmidt, currently head of sports, advertising sales and online at Sky Deutschland, will take over the CEO post when Sullivan leaves on June 24.

Sullivan took over as Sky Deutschland CEO in 2010 and has been key in turning around the money-losing operation. Late last year, the Munich-based group booked its first quarterly net profit since the first quarter of 2007.

Under Sullivan's management, Sky has increased subscribers to more than 4 million in Germany and expanded its service across all platforms as well as into original programming. Sky Deutschland's first in-house drama production, the period series Babylon Berlin from German director Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas), is a $34 million co-production with German public broadcaster ARD.

Last year, Sky Deutschland closed a deal with U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB whereby BSkyB takes a majority share in the German group, as well as full control of Sky Italia, the Italian pay TV channel. The three networks were merged into Sky Europe, Europe's largest pay TV operation with 20 million subscribers.

Sky has started the process to squeeze out Sky Deutschland's minority shareholders to secure full control of the German operation. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox holds a 39-percent stake in Sky Europe.