Comcast said Wednesday that it has named Dana Strong CEO of Sky Group, replacing Jeremy Darroch who will step down from that role to become executive chairman of the British satellite unit. Strong, currently president of Comcast Cable’s Consumer Services, will report directly to Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.
Darroch has been CEO of Sky since 2007, and continued in that role when Comcast purchased the company in 2018 for $31 billion. He has had a long career at the British satellite giant, joining the company in 2004 as chief financial officer in 2004.
During that time, he has tripled the size of the business and led the transformation of the company into Europe’s largest multi-platform TV provider with nearly 24 million customers.
Strong has been a rising star at Comcast since joining the company in 2018 as president of Consumer Services. In that role she was responsible for Comcast’s residential business and has led 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.
“There are few businesses that have the track record of Sky, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the company,” Strong said in a press release. “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.”
No replacement for Strong's Consumer Services position has been named, but Comcast said her leadership team will report to Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson during the search.
Strong has more than 25 years experience in international markets, having served as president and chief operating officer of Virgin Media in the UK, chief transformation officer of Liberty Global as well as CEO of UPC Ireland and COO of AUSTAR in Australia.
“I would like to thank Jeremy for his exceptional leadership of Sky and his partnership since we acquired the company,” Roberts said in a press release. “Sky’s values have been a perfect fit for ours and I credit Jeremy with building an incredible culture and executing the seamless integration with Comcast. He and his team have established 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 and I am pleased that he’s agreed to stay on to help with the transition and advise the company.”
“I am delighted that Dana will be taking the helm at Sky,” Roberts continued. “She 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.”
In the press release, Darroch said that his decision to step down from the CEO spot wasn’t easy, but he believes the timing is right.
“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,” Darroch said in the release. “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 have no doubt that Dana will take Sky into a new and exciting future.”
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.