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Sky Network (ASX:SKT) share price falls following significant board change

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The Sky Network Television Limited (ASX: SKT) share price is falling lower in morning trade today. This comes after the company announced a replacement for its chief executive. At the time of writing, the Sky share price is down 3.1% to 15.5 cents.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened within the Sky management team.

Executive change

The Sky share price is dropping lower today after its chief executive decided to resign from the company.

Management advised that current Sky chief executive, Mr Martin Stewart, will be departing the company. The reason given was that Mr Stewart wished to return home to Europe and spend more time with family.

Mr Stewart first joined Sky in February 2019, and, according to the company, led the team through a significant turn-around, despite COVID-19 challenges. A reached mutual agreement will allow Mr Stewart to assist in the three-month handover to Sky’s current chief commercial officer, Ms Sophie Moloney. The position, effective immediately, will see former head, Mr Stewart, provide support to ensure a smooth transition.

Sky highlighted that Ms Moloney will be the first woman appointed to the position in its history.

With over 20 years’ experience in international media, Ms Moloney has held a range of commercial, legal and strategic roles.

Having first joined Sky’s United Kingdom commercial legal team in 2003, Ms Moloney subsequently undertook other legal commercial secondment roles thereafter. These positions included executive directorships with companies such as Sky News Arabia, Abu Dhabi Media and OSN.

After spending time in the Middle East within those roles, Ms Moloney returned home to New Zealand in 2018. From there she took up the position of general counsel at Sky New Zealand.

In June 2019, Ms Moloney was promoted to chief legal, people and partnerships officer. And in July 2020, she was appointed chief commercial officer.

Ms Moloney holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Canterbury University, New Zealand. Furthermore, she is also an executive director of Sky Investment Holdings Ltd.

Management commentary

Sky chair, Mr Phillip Bowman, commented on former chief executive Mr Stewart’s achievements. He said:

Since joining Sky in February 2019, Martin has led a successful turnaround and the Board acknowledges his significant contribution.

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.

In addition, Mr Bowman went on to speak about the new appointment of Ms Moloney as head of Sky, saying:

Sophie has performed outstandingly in a wide range of commercial, legal and strategic roles and has the unanimous support of the Board of Directors. 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 include securing 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.

Sky Network share price summary

The Sky share price has been charging higher since the beginning of August, up almost 30%. Although, when looking at the bigger picture, shareholders would be disappointed. The Sky share price is down a massive 60% over the past 12 months, reflecting weak investor sentiment.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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