From the Enterprise VoIP Experts

June 04, 2009

It's Official: DirecTV CEO to Rejoin News Corp.

By SIP Trunking Report Editor

Saying he’s had a “phenomenal experience” and that he’s “extremely proud” of his group’s accomplishments, the president and chief executive officer of the nation’s largest satellite TV provider today announced that he’s resigning from the company – a move that IT and telecom insiders were expecting.

Chase Carey, who has led DirecTV Group Inc. for the past six years, is re-joining $52 billion media news giant News Corporation, where he previously worked as chief operating officer.
The credit, Carey said, for DirecTV’s success, “goes to an extraordinary senior management and overall employee base that has combined passion, energy and unique abilities to establish DIRECTV as the premier television service.”
“It is a management team second to none,” he said. “I would also like to thank the board of directors for their support, guidance and contributions, which made our achievements possible. DirecTV is in a great place with a tremendously exciting future ahead of it.”
DirecTV says it’s formed a committee to find a replacement. Until then, Larry Hunter will act as chief executive officer. He’s already executive vice president of legal, HR and administration.
Carey’s comments echo what we usually hear when a high-profile executive switches jobs. But make no mistake: His departure leaves a huge vacuum.
He leaves – as TMCnet reported – just as the company that owns a majority stake in DirecTV is seeking to combine the digital satellite TV service with its own entertainment group and spin both of them off into a new entity.
Officials with Liberty Media Corporation say that merging DirecTV with Liberty Entertainment also will help El Segundo, California-based DirecTV’s shareholders by adding key assets – namely, Game Show Network, FUN Technologies and three regional sports networks.
Carey also has had success at DirecTV.
As The Associated Press notes, DirecTV during his tenure has grown from 12 million to 18 million subscribers, and under his eye, free cash flow grew from break-even in 2003 to $1.7 billion last year.
The AP cites a research note from Standard & Poor analyst Tuna Amobi: “Having led DirecTV for the past six years to strong competitive footing, marked by major operating and financial accomplishments, Carey’s exit could leave hard-to-fill vacuum.”
John Malone, chairman of DirecTV Group, said: “While we will certainly miss Chase, we are confident in DIRECTV’s future with a seasoned executive team in place.”
Meanwhile, News Corp. is understandably thrilled.
Media Icon Rupert Murdoch, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said Carey will come on board in New York City starting July 1 and report directly to him.
“Chase has been one of my closest advisors and friends for years and I am delighted we’ll once again be working together across our businesses as we face the challenges and great opportunities ahead,” Murdoch said.
Here’s how Carey described his re-entry at News Corp: “Under Rupert’s leadership, News Corporation has always been the boldest, most innovative media company in the world. With its leading franchises, News Corporation’s growth opportunities are second to none and I am thrilled to be returning at such a transformative time for our businesses across the globe.”

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan