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Sky Deutschland announce senior management shakeup

There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Sky announced its intention to buy out both Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in the latter part of 2014. The company had been losing some ground in the UK and both its German and Italian counterparts had failed to turn a profit, making the entire endeavour look like it might be a touch fruitless. By the time Sky's £4.9 billion purchase went through, the decision was looking a little smarter than we might have first assumed. With these new businesses, Sky would have one of the largest European media companies, and be able to negotiate much harder on content deals with the likes of sporting organisations, content providers and movie studios. There was also the matter of management, which could be considerably cut down and shared across the new group, lowering costs and cutting red tape between the businesses. Since that time, we've seen Sky make a huge number of changes at the top, and today we have another, as Sky Deutschland AG announce that they will appoint a new Chief Executive.

The announcement states that current CE, Brian Sullivan, will step down from his role on the 24th of June in order to return to the United States. The supervisory board who look after the appointment of management at Sky have tapped Carsten Schmidt to replace Mr Sullivan. Mr Schmidt, who formally acted as Chief Officer for Sports, Advertising Sales & Internet at Sky DE, will take on the role of Deputy Chief Executive with immediate effect, and work alongside Mr Sullivan before taking over full time in June.

It's a fantastic promotion for Mr Schmidt, who has served on the Sky Deutschland management board since 2006, after initially joining the company in 1999. Over the course of his time at the company, he's been instrumental in building Sky Deutschland's deeply impressive exclusive content catalogue. Still, some aren't happy with the appointment, hoping that a woman might get the job and requesting clarification on the Sky 24 hour helpline. Nevertheless, Sky Deutschland look like they'll be in fine hands under Mr Schmidt, and with Sky UK as their parent company, they should find strong success well into the future.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive of Sky plc and Chairman of Sky Deutschland’s Supervisory Board, commented:“Brian has made a huge contribution to Sky Deutschland over the last five years. He has built an excellent team who have delivered a step-change in growth and opened up the significant future opportunity for Sky in Germany and Austria. We wish him the very best as he returns to the US.

“We are delighted to appoint such an experienced and capable executive from within the existing leadership team. Carsten has played a central role in the transformation of Sky in Germany, building a strong business in premium sport with a deserved reputation for outstanding quality and innovation. With the support of an excellent team, he will lead the next phase of Sky’s growth as it continues to execute on a well-established and successful strategy.”

Carsten Schmidt, Deputy Chief Executive, Sky Deutschland, said:“This is an exciting time for Sky in Germany and Austria. The business is performing very well, and with the support of the wider Sky group, we are now even better positioned to exploit the huge potential in our sector. I’m looking forward to working with the team to bring the Sky experience to many more customers in the future.”

Brian Sullivan, Chief Executive, Sky Deutschland, added:“Sky Deutschland has come a long way over the last few years. The product we deliver today is amongst the best in the world, whether that be our outstanding content, amazing innovations or award winning customer service. And customers have responded in the millions. This could not have been accomplished without the incredible team here at Sky, of which Carsten has been an outstanding member. I cannot think of a better person to work with Jeremy and the whole team to bring the next chapter of the Sky story to life.”

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