BSkyB to hire outsider as Booth replacement

BSkyB will not promote the general manager of Sky Networks, Elisabeth Murdoch, to chief executive in the wake of Mark Booth’s departure, but will recruit its new chief from outside the company.

BSkyB will not promote the general manager of Sky Networks,

Elisabeth Murdoch, to chief executive in the wake of Mark Booth’s

departure, but will recruit its new chief from outside the company.



The satellite broadcaster announced Booth’s move to a new-media venture,

e-partners, this week, and said that a committee of the board had been

set up to select his successor from external candidates.



Booth, who has been with the broadcaster for almost 18 months, is set to

leave the company within the next few weeks. e-partners is being backed

by News Corporation, which is providing a dollars 300 million equity

capital base, and will invest in new-media opportunities such as the

internet and interactive TV.



Booth said of his new post: ’I am thrilled to be leading an

entrepreneurial venture at a time of great change and opportunity. I

look forward to building on the successes we have already achieved in

interactive digital television and to creating new opportunities for

News Corp and its shareholders.’



Booth is understood to have turned down a dollars 25 million offer to

join Microsoft after being persuaded by Rupert Murdoch to stay with News

Corp as head of its new-media venture.



BSkyB quickly quashed speculation that Booth’s departure is related to

the failure of Sky’s takeover bid for Manchester United, which was

blocked by the Government earlier this month.



Murdoch said: ’Mark has done an outstanding job at BSkyB. He will leave

the company in great shape. It has very talented executives in each of

its key operational areas and I am extremely confident about its

future.’



Speculation has also centred on Booth’s reaction to BSkyB’s tentative

merger talks with Canal+. According to observers, Booth was not wholly

supportive of the talks and discussions between the two broadcasting

giants could now be revived with Booth out of the way.



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).