AdSmart boss Jamie West to leave Sky

He is third senior executive to exit in two months following Comcast's takeover.

West: has been at Sky since 2010
West: has been at Sky since 2010

Jamie West, deputy managing director of TV ad sales house Sky Media and group director of advanced advertising, is to step down.

Sky told staff in a memo that West "has decided to seek new challenges outside Sky" after 10 years at Britain’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster.

He "has contributed a huge amount to Sky and been a big part of Sky Media’s success", the company said.

West was one of the architects of AdSmart, a pioneering advanced advertising service, which launched in 2014.

AdSmart allows marketers and agencies to target viewers by location and demographic, and has been adopted by Sky’s new owner, Comcast, which is bringing the service to its US TV operation NBCUniversal.

More recently, Channel 4 agreed to join AdSmart in the UK in a long-awaited deal that was announced this week.

West, who previously worked at MTV and Channel 5, is said to have chosen to leave Sky. He will depart at the end of the year.

He is the third senior Sky executive to exit in two months following Comcast’s £30bn takeover in October 2018, when hundreds of staff enjoyed cash windfalls as their share awards vested.

Andrew Griffith, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, left in July to become Boris Johnson’s chief business adviser at No10 and Luke Bradley-Jones, chief marketing officer of UK and Ireland, quit in August to join rival Disney.

Sky Media, which is headed by managing director John Litster, brings in about £1.2bn a year in ad sales in Britain – about 27% of the TV ad market. 

Sky’s ad sales fell 5% in the three months to June as the wider TV market suffered because of Brexit uncertainty and advertisers switching to online media.

Separately, Sky has recruited Patrick Behar, a former McKinsey & Company management consultant, to a newly created senior role as chief business officer of UK and Ireland.

Behar, who joined earlier this year, has oversight of a number of areas of the business, including Sky Media.