January 6, 2021. Sky today announced that Jeremy Darroch has decided to step down as Group CEO of Sky after 13 years leading the company and Dana Strong will become Group CEO of Sky, reporting to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts. Jeremy will become Executive Chairman through 2021 to ensure a smooth transition and will then act as an advisor to the company.
Jeremy is one of the longest-serving leaders of a major British company, having been CEO of Sky since 2007, and Group CFO before that since 2004. During that time, he has led the transformation of the company into Europe’s largest multi-platform TV provider with nearly 24 million customers. Alongside the growth of the business, which has tripled in size, Jeremy has championed Sky’s broader contribution to the society and communities in which it operates, overseeing the expansion of its commitment to sport, UK and European originated content, in-depth news, the arts, young people and the environment.
Under Jeremy’s leadership, Sky’s innovation and investment has revolutionised the television viewing experience with award-winning products like Sky+, Sky HD, Sky Go, Sky Q and NOW TV. Sky has also brought competition and choice to British consumers in broadband, telephony and mobile services.
During Jeremy’s tenure, Sky has made one of the largest and most significant contributions to the British creative and sports industries. Jeremy has supported the development of Sky Arts, which has recently been made available free to air, and Sky News as an independent and impartial voice in UK news provision that makes a vital contribution to media plurality. Sky has also invested significantly in British sport over the last 13 years, changing the way sport is covered on TV, and allowing sports organisations to attract the best talent, build world-class facilities and develop grassroots programmes.
Jeremy was awarded the inaugural MIP United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Award in 2020, recognising Sky’s leading role in working towards ambitious environmental goals. Sky’s environmental commitment has been substantial during Jeremy’s tenure and Sky has this year become the first major media company in the world to commit to becoming Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and pledged to use its reach and voice to help governments and society tackle global warming.
Jeremy has served as Chairman of Business in the Community for the last three years. He was also the Senior Independent Director of Burberry Group plc and serves as an Ambassador for WWF. He was previously a Non-Executive Director of Marks and Spencer plc and a Trustee of the Youth Sport Trust.
He will be succeeded by Dana Strong, currently President, Consumer Services for Comcast Cable. Comcast Cable is the largest broadband and pay TV provider in the US with nearly 33 million customer relationships, $58 billion revenue and $23 billion in EBITDA. Dana has been responsible for Comcast’s largest business and has led innovative new product and market launches in broadband, video, home security and mobile. During her tenure, the company achieved record subscriber and broadband growth and the company’s highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Dana has over 25 years of international experience in global telecommunications and media and deep knowledge of the UK and European markets. Before joining Comcast, she served as President and COO of Virgin Media in the UK as well as Chief Transformation Officer of Liberty Global, CEO UPC Ireland, and COO AUSTAR in Australia.
Dana has driven Comcast’s digital equity efforts through Internet Essentials, which is the largest broadband adoption program for low-income families in the US, connecting over eight million people in need to the Internet since its inception. She has served on a number of boards, including the Economic and Community Advisory Council for the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, the Board of Telenet in Belgium, and as Chairman of the Irish Telecommunications and Internet Federation in Dublin.
Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, said:
“I would like to thank Jeremy for his exceptional leadership of the company over thirteen years, and his partnership in the last two years since we acquired Sky. Sky’s values have been a perfect fit for ours at Comcast and that is very much due to Jeremy. He and his team have built a world-class brand and a strong, well-run business that will continue to flourish.
Jeremy has been a terrific colleague to me and everyone at Sky, but I respect his decision that now is the time for him to make a change. I am pleased that he’s agreed to stay on to help with the transition to new leadership, and will continue to advise me and the company.
I am delighted that Dana Strong will be taking the helm at Sky. Dana is an accomplished executive with an extraordinary ability to transform, inspire, and drive positive change. She quickly made her mark on our US business, driving growth and innovation with an unwavering commitment to our customers. Her global experience and vision coupled with her leadership and track record at some of the largest media and telecommunications companies in the world make her the perfect leader for Sky.”
Jeremy Darroch said:
“It has been a privilege to lead Sky for 13 years, and an experience that I have looked forward to every day, so the decision to leave has not been easy. But with the business firmly settled into the wider Comcast Corporation and a strong plan in place, now is the right time. I feel incredibly lucky to have been surrounded by colleagues who care as deeply as I do about this business and our customers and work tirelessly every day to make their lives better. I would like to thank all of my colleagues at Sky and also Brian and the team at Comcast who I have thoroughly enjoyed working with.
I am proud of the business we have built together. We are winning in all our markets, with a strong brand, exceptional products and services, and high levels of customer and employee satisfaction. We have an outstanding and experienced leadership team who I know will continue to evolve the business in the years to come. Together we have always seen the bigger picture at Sky, and I am particularly proud that Sky was an early corporate pioneer in helping to tackle environmental issues, using our reach and influence as a major media company with a presence in millions of homes to mobilise action on the environment.
I have always believed that successful, sustainable businesses have a vital role to support thriving communities and can contribute much more to wider society. This thought has guided me through the last 13 years at Sky and will continue to so in whatever I do next. I have no doubt that Dana will take Sky into a new and exciting future. Her proven record for leading telecommunications and media businesses coupled with her experience in the US, UK and Europe will be great assets to Sky and I look forward to working with her as she takes the reins.”
Dana Strong said:
“There are few businesses that have the track record of Sky, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the company. I’ve always admired Sky’s innovation, brand, and exceptional focus on the customer. I look forward to working with this incredible team to continue to grow the business and shape the next chapter for Sky.”
Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our nearly 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.
Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love - TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.
Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.
We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve put in place a new programme to invest £30million across our markets over the next three years to tackle racial injustice.
Joanna Manning-Cooper, Group Director of Corporate Affairs : +44 (0)7753 811353
Andrew Swailes, Group Director of Corporate Communications : +44 (0)7975 688993