He has been appointed as Sky Italia’s chief executive, replacing Tom Mockridge who was drafted in to lead News International last month.
Zappia’s responsibilities, which include leading the sales, marketing and customer operations team will be split between Stephen van Rooyen, BSkyB’s deputy managing director, and Chris Stylianou, the company’s contact centres chief. Van Rooyen will be responsible for product marketing, brand marketing, customer acquisition and retention, while Stylianou will head up customer service.
Tom Mockridge’s appointment at the helm of News International followed the resignation of Rebekah Brooks after the News of the World phone hacking scandal that has embroiled the company in recent weeks.
BSkyB’s brand perception had suffered following the scandal, which forced the closure of the News of the World, but it has since recovered following News Corporations’ decision to pull its bid to take full control of the broadcaster.
Prior to joining BSkyB as the managing director of its customer group, Zappia spent seven years at Sky Italia, including holding the role of vice president of its sports channels.
Zappia reported directly to Mockridge as Sky Italia’s vice president of marketing, promotion and business development, between 2003 and 2007. He has also held senior marketing roles at Ferrari, Fila and Procter & Gamble.
It is not yet known who will replace Zappia at BSkyB.
BSkyB spent £1.22bn on marketing in the last financial year as it ramped up its battle for triple play dominance in the pay-tv, broadband and telephone markets.