ITV shareholders cautious on Tony Ball appointment

LONDON - ITV shareholders have given a mixed reception to the potential costs involved in hiring the former Sky chief executive Tony Ball as the broadcaster's next chief executive.

Tony Ball...former chief executive of Sky
Tony Ball...former chief executive of Sky

Ball, who is currently the chairman of Kabel Deutschland, is said to favour a rights issue and financial restructuring of ITV in order to take it forward.

He is thought to have won support from a small number of ITV shareholders. However, some are reported to be unsettled by the need to inject up to £500 million into turning around ITV, in addition to a lucrative pay package for Ball.

ITV recently appointed the US headhunter Russell Reynolds Associates to lead the search for a chief executive to replace Michael Grade, who served as executive chairman.

Several candidates have emerged but Ball is thought to have been the only potential chief executive who has talked to shareholders directly.

The latest names to enter the frame include Nikesh Arora, the head of Google's European operations, and Mike Volpi, the chief executive of Joost.