Gary Davey

Long-standing Sky exec Gary Davey is to step down from his position as CEO at the company’s production division Sky Studios next year and retire.

Davey took up his most recent role 18 months ago following Sky’s acquisition by Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, having previously been the pay TV company’s MD of content in the UK and EVP of programming for Sky Deutschland.

Before that, he had spent more than three decades with what was Rupert Murdoch’s company, including a stint leading Sky Italia, where he was responsible for launching its terrestrial TV network Cielo. He also held roles as MD of BSkyB in England and CEO of Star TV in Hong Kong.

Off to the farm

Most recently, Davey led the Comcast-backed, Europe-wide development and production outfit Sky Studios, which has been rapidly expanding its slate since launch and recently unveiled plans to launch a studio in Elstree.

I Hate Suzie

To date, Sky’s original programming efforts from its studios arm range from Petra and Gangs Of London to I Hate Suzie.

In a message to staff seen by TBI, Davey said he would step down next year once a successor had been found, before retiring to his farm in Sicily.

“As you will imagine, this has not been an easy decision for me, and I would only be stepping down if I believed that our business had rock-solid foundations, strong and ambitious leadership and a bright and exciting future ahead of it. All of this is true,” he said in the note.

“Next year Sky Studios will become profitable and the year after we will open the doors to Sky Studios Elstree, a huge, long-term investment in Sky’s original content ambition, enabling us to truly fulfil our potential as we look to more than double our investment by 2024.

“All of this makes Sky Studios one of the most exciting places to work in TV, but it also makes it the right time for me to pass the reigns on to a new CEO as I shift down gears to spend more time with my wife Angelica here on the farm in Sicily.”

Sky’s group CEO Jeremy Darroch said in his note to staff that Davey had got Sky Studios “off to a roaring start, more than fulfilling the ambition and vision we had for the organisation in the first 18 months.”

He added: “Gary will continue to lead Sky Studios as we look to appoint a new successor in due course. We will all miss Gary and his love of content, his energy and his wise counsel, however there’ll be plenty of time for fond farewells next summer. In the meantime it’s ‘full steam ahead’ as Gary likes to remind his Sky Studios team each week.”