Rupert Murdoch has maintained his management grip on BSkyB with the appointment of Mark Booth as the broadcaster’s next chief executive.
Booth, a Murdoch protegé, headed Murdoch’s Foxtel satellite TV network in Australia since 1994 until he became chief operating officer of JSkyB, the Murdoch-led Japanese satellite TV venture, in January this year.
The 40-year-old American previously launched MTV Europe from London. He takes over the role in January next year, following the planned retirement of Sam Chisholm.
Chisholm, who since taking command of BSkyB in 1990 has led it from weekly losses of 14m to annual profits of 315m, blamed his decision to step down on health problems.
Gerry Robinson, chairman of BSkyB, says he regrets Chisholm’s decision. He will remain a director of the company.
David Chance will remain as number two at BSkyB, which is 40 per cent owned by The News Corporation, despite being tipped as Chisholm’s likely successor.