<< Back
British Sky Broad. - Board Changes

RNS Number:4063J

British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC

07 December 2007

BSkyB Group plc announces Board changes

*Rupert Murdoch steps down from the Board

*James Murdoch appointed Non-Executive Chairman

*Jeremy Darroch appointed Chief Executive Officer

*Selection process underway for new Chief Financial Officer

The Board of British Sky Broadcasting Group plc ('Sky' or the 'Company') today

announced that Rupert Murdoch has decided to step down as Chairman and as a

Director of the Company. He is succeeded as Non-Executive Chairman by James

Murdoch, who was appointed to Sky's Board as a Non-Executive Director in

February 2003 and has served as Chief Executive Officer since November 2003. The

appointment was made following consultation with major shareholders. James

Murdoch is leaving his post as CEO to take a new executive position at News

Corporation.

The Board has appointed Jeremy Darroch, previously Sky's Chief Financial

Officer, as Chief Executive Officer. The decision follows a review of potential

candidates from inside and outside the Company by the Independent Non-Executive

Directors.

Since joining Sky in August 2004, Mr Darroch has worked closely with James

Murdoch in setting strategic direction for the Company and has been deeply

involved in the running of the business at all levels. He joined Sky from retail

group DSG International plc (then Dixons Group plc), where he held the position

of Group Finance Director. Prior to DSG, he spent 12 years at Procter & Gamble

in a variety of roles in the UK and Europe. Mr Darroch is also a Non-Executive

Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Marks & Spencer plc.

The Board has initiated the process to select a new Chief Financial Officer. A

further announcement will be made in due course.

The changes were overseen by Nicholas Ferguson, Sky's Senior Independent

Non-Executive Director, working in close consultation with Lord Rothschild,

Deputy Chairman, and Lord Wilson of Dinton, Chairman of the Corporate Governance

and Nominations Committee, and were approved unanimously by the Board.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Nicholas Ferguson said:

'With these changes, the Board has taken action to ensure continuity of

world-class leadership at Sky. Jeremy has played a crucial role in the company's

transformation. He is the first Chief Executive to be appointed from within Sky

and is the unanimous choice of the Board to lead the company's continued growth.

Under James and Jeremy, Sky has accelerated its rate of growth and, with the

outstanding management team in place, is prospering in both entertainment and

communications.

'We are delighted that James has accepted the appointment as Non-Executive

Chairman. The Board is committed to high standards of corporate governance and

seeks to comply with the Combined Code. We are well aware of its terms with

respect to independence. Sky has strong Independent Directors and we were quite

clear that our overriding duty in selecting a Chairman was to do what was in the

best interest of the Company and its shareholders. We were unanimous in our

decision that the appointment of James meets this key test given his deep

knowledge and understanding of the strategic issues facing the Company and the

industries in which we operate, his commitment to Sky, and the continuity this

provides.

'Under the leadership of Jeremy, and with James as Non-Executive Chairman, this

is the right, strong team to take Sky forward with an effective strategy for

growth in the fast changing media and communications marketplace.

'Finally, on behalf of the whole Board and the shareholders, I would like to

express our warmest gratitude for, and pay tribute to, the unparalleled

contribution made by Rupert Murdoch over the last eighteen years. His spirit and

vision have been instrumental in building one of Britain's great companies.'

Rupert Murdoch became a Director of the Company in 1990 and has served as

Chairman since 1999. Over the course of his involvement, Sky has grown from a

start-up to Europe's most valuable pay TV company, reaching one in three

households in the UK and Ireland.

Rupert Murdoch said:

'Sky is a special company with a deeply held belief that people benefit from

increased choice. Today more customers are choosing Sky than ever before as the

company strives to offer the best choice, quality and value in an expanding

marketplace. This progress has been achieved by an accomplished executive team

under the leadership of James and Jeremy. I am confident that they and their

colleagues will continue to set the pace in our industry.'

James Murdoch said:

'The team at Sky has demonstrated the success that can be achieved with an

appetite for change and a single-minded focus on customers. I am pleased to have

the opportunity to become Non-Executive Chairman and I look forward to

supporting Jeremy in his role as Chief Executive. Sky's transformation is

progressing well and both Jeremy and I are committed to seeing it through.'

Jeremy Darroch said:

'Few companies of Sky's scale have its capacity for moving quickly, seizing

opportunities and thriving on a culture of change. Sky's success is a testament

to the talent of my colleagues and I'm excited and privileged to lead a company

that touches so many families across the UK and Ireland. We are well positioned

and I am committed to pursuing a strategy that further deepens our customer

relationships and creates significant value for shareholders.'

END

NOTES

1. Independent Non-Executive Directors:

Lord Rothschild (Deputy Chairman, member of the Corporate Governance &

Nominations Committee)

Nicholas Ferguson (Senior Independent Non-Executive)

David Evans

Andrew Higginson

Allan Leighton

Jacques Nasser

Gail Rebuck

Lord Wilson of Dinton (Chairman of the Corporate Governance & Nominations

Committee)

2. James Murdoch intends to offer himself for reappointment by shareholders at

the Company's 2008 Annual General Meeting

3. It has been announced separately today that James Murdoch has been appointed

to the new executive position of Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia,

News Corporation.

4. Biographical Details:

James Murdoch

James Murdoch has been a Director of Sky since February 2003 and its Chief

Executive Officer since November 2003. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Star Group Limited. Mr Murdoch serves on

the Board of Yankee Global Enterprises, the Board of Trustees of the Harvard

Lampoon and the Leadership Council of The Climate Group.

Jeremy Darroch

Jeremy Darroch was appointed as Chief Financial Officer and a Director of Sky in

August 2004. He was previously Group Finance Director of DSG International plc

(then Dixons Group plc), which he joined in January 2000 as Retail Finance

Director. Prior to Dixons, he spent 12 years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of

roles in the UK and Europe, latterly as European Finance Director for their

Health Care businesses. Mr Darroch is a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of

the Audit Committee of Marks & Spencer plc.

Nicholas Ferguson

Nicholas Ferguson was appointed as a Director of the Company in June 2004 and

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director in June 2007. Mr Ferguson is Chairman

of SVG Capital plc, a publicly-quoted private equity group, and was formerly

Chairman of Schroder Ventures. He is also Chairman of the Courtauld Institute of

Art and the Institute of Philanthropy.

Enquiries:

Analysts/Investors:

Andrew Griffith Tel: 020 7705 3118

Robert Kingston Tel: 020 7705 3726

E-mail: investor-relations@bskyb.com

Press:

Matthew Anderson Tel: 020 7705 3267

Robert Fraser Tel: 020 7705 3036

E-mail: corporate.communications@bskyb.com

This information is provided by RNS

The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END

BOAUNRURBVRURUA

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding British Sky Broadcasting Group plc's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.