BSkyB names Dixons' finance chief Darroch as CFO

LONDON - BSkyB has named Jeremy Darroch, the finance chief from electrical retailer Dixons, as its new chief financial officer, replacing Martin Stewart who resigned in February after failing to win the chief executive's job.

BSkyB is still negotiating with Dixons Group, where Darroch is currently group finance director, on when he will take up his new role at BSkyB, where he will also sit on the board.

Darroch leaves Dixons after four years, having joined in January 2000 as retail finance director and being promoted to group finance director in February 2002. Prior to Dixons, he spent 12 years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of roles in the UK and Europe, and was latterly European finance director for its healthcare businesses.

James Murdoch, chief executive of BSkyB, said: "He has a strong track record in a highly competitive industry and his experience in operating in consumer-facing enterprises will be very valuable as BSkyB grows its business for the future."

His appointment follows BSkyB's move to appease investor criticism last week with the appointment of two independent directors to its board, putting independents in the majority for the first time as part of a reform process begun following the controversial appointment of Murdoch Jnr as chief executive.

The appointment of Rupert Murdoch's son was made against the wishes of institutional investors last year, who did not want to see father and son as chairman and CEO respectively.

The 30-year-old Murdoch won the race to replace Tony Ball, beating Stewart, who had been at BSkyB five years and was said to be the City's favoured candidate, and another internal candidate BSkyB chief operating officer Richard Freudenstein.

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