29 January 2016
James Murdoch to succeed Nicholas Ferguson as Chairman of Sky
The Board of Sky plc today announces that Nicholas Ferguson CBE has decided to step down as Chairman and as a Director of the company at the end of April after 12 years on the Board. After joining the Board as a Non-Executive Director in 2004, he was appointed as Chairman in 2012 and has led the Board during a period of strong growth for the company, including the transaction to bring together the Sky businesses across Europe.
The Board has appointed James Murdoch to succeed Nicholas Ferguson as Chairman. He has been a Director of the company since February 2003 and previously served as Chief Executive from November 2003 to 2007 and as Chairman from 2007 to 2012. Martin Gilbert has been appointed as Deputy Chairman, with Andrew Sukawaty taking over his former role as Sky's Senior Independent Director.
Nicholas Ferguson said: "It's difficult to find the right time to step down from chairing a great company and working with an outstanding Board and management team. I joined the Board 12 years ago, in 2004, meaning that I have been with Sky for nearly half its life. When I became Chairman in 2012, I wrote in the Annual Report that I would stay on long enough to ensure continuity. The then virtually new Board is now seasoned and bedded in. We have completed major international acquisitions in Germany and Italy; they are running to plan and we have first-class management in place. Sky continues to grow impressively, to innovate with wonderful products and to serve its customers to the highest standard. So now is the right time for me to step back. I am sure that the company will continue to prosper under the leadership of Jeremy supported by James and the Board."
James Murdoch commented: "I would like to thank Nick for his outstanding contribution to the Board over the last decade and more. I am proud to have been asked by the Board to serve as Chairman of Sky, one of the world's leading pay TV companies. Jeremy and the team at Sky have done an outstanding job in building a dynamic and successful company. As Chairman, I look forward to working with the Board and management as they continue to deliver a great service for Sky's customers and create value for all shareholders over the years to come."
Martin Gilbert added: "I would like to give the warmest thanks to Nick for the major contribution he has made to Sky. He has provided valuable leadership as Chairman and played a significant part in the company's progress over many years. I am very pleased that James has agreed to succeed Nick. Having seen first-hand James's contribution to and passion for Sky, the Board feels he is uniquely qualified to become Chairman. I am also pleased that Andrew Sukawaty, with his meaningful experience in public companies and in our industry, has agreed to serve as Sky's Senior Independent Director."
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Sky plc board
The Board of Sky plc currently comprises 12 Directors, made up of 2 Executive Directors and 10 Non-Executive Directors. At least half of the Board of Directors are determined to be independent by the Board. The six independent Directors are Martin Gilbert (appointed Deputy Chairman), Andrew Sukawaty (appointed Senior Independent Director), Dave Lewis, Tracy Clarke, Adine Grate and Matthieu Pigasse.
James Murdoch, Chairman
James Murdoch brings significant media sector knowledge and experience through his role as Chief Executive Officer of 21st Century Fox. Before taking up his current position in 2015, he was Co-Chief Operating Officer of 21st Century Fox and previously served as Chairman and CEO, International. He was also Chief Executive Officer of STAR, the Asian satellite television group, from 2000 to 2003.
James joined the Sky Board in February 2003, serving as Chief Executive from 2003 to 2007 and as Chairman from 2007 to 2012. He is Chair of the Bigger Picture Committee. In addition, James serves as a member of the Board of News Corporation and is a non-executive director of Yankee Global Enterprises and Vice Media.
Martin Gilbert, Deputy Chairman
Martin Gilbert has been involved in the investment management industry since 1982 and has extensive investment, finance and executive leadership experience through his role as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC. He has served as Chairman of FirstGroup plc, Chaucer PLC and was Non-Executive Director of Dynmark International Limited, a mobile messaging and data applications services provider.
Martin has served on the Sky Board since November 2011. He is Chair of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nominations Committee. From November 2014 to January 2016, he was the Senior Independent Director. Martin is also Chairman of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) Practitioner Panel.
Andrew Sukawaty, Senior Independent Director
Andrew Sukawaty has over 30 years of telecommunications media technology experience. He has led companies in the mobile phone, Cable TV and satellite industries in the US and Europe and serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Inmarsat plc, the global mobile satellite communications provider.
Andrew joined the Sky Board in June 2013, and is a member of the Remuneration Committee. He is also Executive in Residence for Warburg Pincus, and has previously held a number of senior management positions in the telecommunications industry including: Chairman of Dutch cable TV and communications company Ziggo N.V.; and Chief Executive Officer and President of Sprint PCS, a NYSE listed global national wireless carrier.
Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.
Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe's leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).
For more information visit www.sky.com/corporate
Robert Fraser Tel: 07720 409339
Rowan Pearman Tel: 07976 275756
Edward Steel Tel: 020 7032 2093