Former News International Chief Executive Tom Mockridge is to become CEO of Virgin Media upon the closing of Liberty Global’s proposed acquisition of Virgin Media, which is subject to stockholder approval of both companies. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the definitive Joint Proxy Statement/ Prospectus, and stockholders of both companies are scheduled to vote on the transaction in early June, with closing soon thereafter.
Mockridge has served in several senior management roles over the course of more than two decades with News Corporation, including Chief Executive of European Television operations, Chief Executive of Sky Italia, and most recently Chief Executive of News International. Mr. Mockridge will succeed Neil Berkett, who will continue in his role as CEO of Virgin Media until closing of the transaction, having previously announced his intention to retire from Virgin Media upon closing.
Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said that Mockridge would bring to Virgin Media a breadth of experience in the pay-TV industry, both in the UK and throughout Europe. “I have known and worked with Tom for nearly 15 years and have always admired his leadership and operating success in a number of highly competitive media markets. We are fortunate to bring an executive of Tom’s talent and experience in to lead Virgin Media in its next phase of growth. I’d also like to wish Neil Berkett all the best in his future endeavours. He has done an outstanding job at Virgin Media and will be missed by all,” he stated.
Mockridge said that thanks to the incredible energy of its employees and the loyalty of its customers, Virgin Media had become the UK’s leading broadband communications company and had developed an immensely powerful media brand. “I keenly anticipate joining the team as it continues to deliver the cutting-edge TV and broadband products and services that excite and inspire its customers across the UK. I’m also excited to become part of the Liberty Global family and look forward to working closely with Mike and his team as they continue to build the world’s largest cable platform,” he added.
As CEO of Virgin Media after the closing, Mockridge will report to Mike Fries, as well as to a newly formed operating committee comprised of Fries, Diederik Karsten, Executive Vice President, European Broadband Operations, and Balan Nair, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.