Kate Bulkley, Media Analyst.

Nuttall to exit in Sky restructure

By Kate Bulkley

Broadcast News

For Broadcast March 19, 2010

Stephen Nuttall, Sky’s director of commercial group, is to leave the satellite broadcaster in April following a major restructure of the marketing and product development teams.

Nuttall spent eight and a half years at Sky and oversaw innovative projects including the launch of VOD service Skyplayer, Sky Mobile TV, several iPhone apps, music service Sky Songs and personalised ad service AdSmart. He also headed Sky’s joint venture channels, oversaw the Sky website and set up Team Sky with the British cycling team.

“Sky has a fantastic, all conquering team and a very strong squad but at some point in your career you need regular first team football and a try to be the captain,” said Nuttall.

“I am leaving on very good terms. And some of the things I built are sufficiently big now that there needs to be a reorganization.”

Gerry O’Sullivan, director of strategic product development, is also stepping down after ten years as part of the changes. O’Sullivan was responsible for services including Sky+, Sky Broadband and 3DTV.

The changes have been put in place by chief executive officer Jeremy Darroch.

These restructure includes the formation of a Product Steering Committee, led by Darroch, to set overall strategy and allocate budget for current and future products.

A Product Development and Design Group, reporting into chief operating officer Mike Darcy and headed by group managing director Alun Webber, will bring together Sky’s product portfolio including broadband, mobile TV and online.

Webber has been in charge of the Amstrad set top box manufacturing unit. Basically the changes mean that Sky now sees mobile, online, VOD and the flagship DTH TV business all as part of a single strategic road map across all products.

A Product Research Group, also reporting into Darcy, will focus on emerging technologies. Sky is currently hunting for a new director of product research to head the division.

Further changes will see customer-facing sales, marketing and operations brought together and headed up by managing director of customer group Andrea Zappia, who joined Sky in January. Zappia will take charge of above and below-the-line marketing, product pricing and will work closely with Webber on product design and development.

In a memo, Darroch told staff the overhaul of product development and marketing divisions was vital.

“In a highly competitive, rapidly changing and ever more complex world, our future success depends on our ability to step up our rate of product innovation and maximise the impact of our sales and marketing capability in the marketplace,” he said.

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