Advanced Television

Sky ups van Rooyen to lead European operations

January 31, 2020

Stephen van Rooyen, the head of Sky’s UK business, has been promoted to also oversee its German and Italian operations, as owner Comcast seeks to stimulate international expansion with a management shake-up.

van Rooyen will become chief executive for UK and Europe, with the heads of Sky Italia (Andrea Zappia) and Sky Deutschland (Carsten Schmidt) reporting directly to him, according to a report in The Telegraph.

In a memo to staff, overall CEO Jeremy Darroch said the overhaul signals that Sky will be “bringing our existing market operations together in away that we have not done before”.

Sky’s product chief, responsible for the development of its set-top box and apps, will also report to van Rooyen.

Darroch said: “As we align the markets more closely, making sure our overall product development capability and roadmaps are closer to the market operations and more aligned will be extremely important.

ky Italia is in the midst of a push into the broadband market, while Comcast has parachuted a new management team into Sky Deutschland in a bid ignite growth in a market that has proved stubbornly resistant to pay-TV. The current head of Sky’s continental businesses, Andrea Zappia, will become chief executive of «new markets and businesses», in a signal of Comcast’s ambitions to open new European markets following its £30bn takeover of Sky little over a year ago.

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