John Fellet, chief executive of Sky Television, has advised the board of his intention to retire later this year.
“In order for the board to commence a strategic succession process, I have indicated my desire to retire within the next 12 months”, said Fellet in the announcement.
Sky chairman Peter Macourt said a global search process would be undertaken, including New Zealand-based and internal candidates.
“John will be part of that search process and has agreed to remain as chief executive until his successor is found. John will continue to serve on the Sky board after the transition is made.”
Macourt expressed the board’s gratitude for Fellet’s contribution to Sky, saying Fellet's been the driving force behind Sky’s success for many years.
"He has made an enormous contribution to our business, and to the television industry in New Zealand.
“We are grateful for his work and commitment to Sky, and for the succession process he has instigated, which will allow a careful search for the right individual to take the reins at Sky.”
And reflecting on his 27 years at the company, Fellet adds when he is immensely proud of the work achieved by the 1100 employees, which is a massive step up from the 125 that were there when he started. There were also only three channels back in the day.
After years of growth, Sky has recently rejigged its offerings by closing its online DVD rental business, Fatso, as well as cutting its subscription costs to compete in a fragmented and inexpensive digital marketplace.
Despite the changes and his intention to depart the television network, Fellet remains positive about the future of Sky.
“We have some exciting developments underway to take advantage of digital opportunities and to continue to deliver great content to New Zealanders. I look forward to working with the team as we put them in place, and to find the best person to lead Sky in the future.”