Rob Webster to take over as sport MD

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Barney Francis has been promoted to the new role of CEO Future Sport at Sky, with Rob Webster named as his replacement as managing director of Sky Sports.

Francis has been Sky Sports managing director for the last ten years. In his new role, he will report to Sky Group chief executive Jeremy Darroch, and will focus on the changing world of sport and the place Sky and its sister company NBCU occupy within it.

He will work across both organisations, looking at global opportunities for growth for parent company Comcast – which acquired Sky last year.

Francis said: “Personally I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking on a new global role and helping to tackle some big questions, but I’ll also be keeping a very close eye as Sky Sports continues to go from strength to strength.”

Darroch said: “Barney has driven growth and innovation for Sky Sports in the face of increased competition in the Sports market, finding new and better ways to bring fans closer to the content they love. This makes him one of the most qualified executives to anticipate where the next big opportunities lie for us.”

Meanwhile, new Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster will report to UK and ROI chief executive Stephen van Rooyen.

Webster has been at Sky for over twenty years in a variety of roles across group partner channels, legal and channels and operations. Most recently Webster has been responsible for negotiating deals with global content partners across all Sky territories and has also led multiple channel distribution negotiations with the broadcast industry.

Webster said: “I’m immensely proud to take on this role, Barney is a tough act to follow, but I aim to bring everything I’ve learned during 22 years at Sky. I’m excited by the opportunity we face as a team and feel very privileged to have the huge responsibility of leading such a great group of people.”

Van Rooyen commented: “He is a strong team player with expertise in commercial deals and brings with him strong external partner relationships. I know that Rob will bring a fresh perspective to Sky Sports and will be working closely with the extremely capable senior team there to build on the plans already in place.”