Virgin Media taps Disney's Cindy Rose

Named new executive director of television

LONDON -- Virgin Media has poached highly regarded Walt Disney Europe Internet head Cindy Rose to be its new executive director of television, leading the cable group's television, digital and on-demand businesses.

The new role, which commences Nov. 1, effectively replaces Virgin Media chief executive Malcolm Wall, who left the company in March.

The heavily leveraged cable group has struggled to attract subscribers despite rival BSkyB racing ahead with its best performance in five years.

Chief executive Neil Berkett has vowed to lead a turnaround, making Virgin's combined television, Internet and telephony service "stickier" and increasing average revenues per subscriber.

Rose, a former lawyer who joined Disney fourteen years ago as European senior counsel, held the position of regional managing director for the U.K., Middle East and Mediterranean regions for six years.

Most recently she was managing director of Internet operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, launching virtual worlds for franchises such as "Pirates of the Caribbean" as well as the kids-only social network Club Penguin.

"Cindy has a wealth of experience and an exceptional understanding of the evolving digital landscape," said Berkett.

"I am delighted that someone of her considerable caliber is joining in such a key role and I look forward to working with her as we continue to develop our TV services."