Sky New Zealand Chair Philip Bowman has announced the company’s Chief Executive Martin Stewart is leaving the company to return home to Europe.
“Since joining Sky in February 2019, Martin has led a successful turnaround and the Board acknowledges his significant contribution,” Mr Bowman says. “Despite an exceptionally challenging year in 2020, the business is well positioned to achieve its strategic priorities of strengthening our core satellite business, growing streaming services, delivering broadband services and securing the rights to bring the best of sport and entertainment to our customers.
“The Board respects Martin’s decision to leave and is pleased we have been able to reach a mutual agreement for him to do so. We thank him for his significant contribution to Sky.”
Martin has expressed his thanks to Sky’s team, partners, customers and investors for their support during his tenure.
“I am grateful to the smart, dedicated team at Sky who have worked with me to transform our business and navigate the challenges of COVID-19. The likelihood of continued border restrictions has contributed to my decision to return to Europe, but I am proud of what we have achieved together in the last 21 months. I wholeheartedly thank the Sky team for their support.”
Martin will be available to assist Sky as needed over the next three months to ensure an orderly handover and transition.
Martin’s departure has accelerated the company’s succession planning process and Sophie Moloney, Sky’s current Chief Commercial Officer, has been appointed Chief Executive, effective immediately.
Sophie is the first woman to be appointed to the position in Sky’s history.
She brings deep international media experience with an impressive 20-year track record, including roles with Sky New Zealand, Sky UK, Sky News Arabia, Abu Dhabi Media and OSN.
“Sophie has performed outstandingly in a wide range of commercial, legal and strategic roles and has the unanimous support of the Board of Directors,” Mr Bowman says. “She brings excellent commercial and strategic thinking, a proven record of developing new business opportunities, strong leadership skills and successful delivery.
“Sophie’s recent achievements securing leading the commercial agreement with Spark to secure Rugby World Cup Rights for pubs and clubs around New Zealand, leading the team that secured New Zealand Rugby and SANZAAR rights, negotiating the new Optus satellite agreement and spearheading Sky’s purchase of entertainment streaming service Lightbox.”
Sophie and Martin have worked closely together both at Sky and previously at OSN.
“I am very pleased that Sophie has been appointed as my successor as Chief Executive. She is an exceptional leader and I wish her every success in this role,” says Martin Stewart.
Sophie today paid tribute to Martin, saying: “I am honoured and excited to be taking on the role of Chief Executive at Sky. In doing so, I acknowledge Martin’s contribution and the transformational path he has delivered on to date. Having worked with Martin for a number of years, I am hugely grateful for his stewardship and this opportunity to now succeed him as Chief Executive.”