1990: Sam Chisholm, a veteran of Australia's competitive commercial broadcasting market, is appointed Sky's chief executive. He succeeds Patrick Cox, who, with the former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil as his executive chairman, oversaw Sky's initial launch as the UK's first direct-to-home pay-TV satellite broadcaster in 1989.
1996: The company's share price plummets as Chisholm steps down on medical grounds and his second-in-command, David Chance (seen by many as Chisholm's heir-apparent), steps down too. The chief executive job is handed to Mark Booth, the boss of Rupert Murdoch's fledgling JSkyB operation in Japan and a former boss of MTV Europe. Elisabeth Murdoch also joins as Sky's new programming boss, replacing David Elstein.
1999: Booth having decamped to a dotcom subsidiary of News Corp, the chief executive role is handed to Tony Ball (pictured), the president of Fox Sports. Ball oversees a bold strategy, giving away Sky Digital boxes and returning Sky to growth and profitability.
2003: Having fallen from favour with Rupert Murdoch, Ball departs, to be replaced by Rupert's son, James Murdoch, despite investor disquiet. Murdoch junior's team includes Dawn Airey, the former chief executive of five (who joined following Elisabeth Murdoch's departure), and the chief operating officer, Richard Freudenstein, who is seen as a future successor to the top job. However, he subsequently resigns.
2006: Sky unveils a new structure: Jon Florsheim (pictured), who has been at Sky since 1994, takes the post of managing director, customer group; Airey becomes the managing director, channels and services; Mike Darcey is named group commercial and strategy director.
Fast forward ...
2010: With speculation growing that James Murdoch is planning to return to Harvard to study for a doctorate in film history, his father loses patience and prepares to take the reins himself. Investors hardly dare point out that he will soon be celebrating his 80th birthday. Airey, long seen in many quarters as Murdoch junior's successor, threatens to resign.