John Cresswell, former chief operating officer for ITV, has been appointed as the new chief executive of media services firm Arqiva.

Cresswell – who also served as interim chief executive at ITV before Adam Crozier was hired – takes up his new role on 17 January. He heads up a group of more than 2,000 employees based in the UK, US and Europe, and is replacing Tom Bennie who steps down after 32 years at the firm.

A statement from Arqiva said his appointment came at the start of an “important period” for the company, as it is currently bidding for work from the government’s Smart Metering initiative, as well as being half-way through the £700m digital switchover project.

Peter Shore, chairman of Arqiva’s board of directors, said: “The growth potential in our markets is enormous and the time is right for Arqiva to bring in new executive leadership to drive the company forward.  

“John’s broad industry experience, knowledge and leadership skills mean he is ideally placed to help us shape and realise these opportunities today and in the future.”

Shore also thanked outgoing chief executive Bennie for “his immense contribution to the organisation over more than three decades”.

Cresswell said: “I am really excited by the prospect of leading the transformation of such a dynamic business at such an exciting time in the development of the markets in which we operate.  As a previous customer of Arqiva I know that the company is admired and respected for its innovation, engineering and operational excellence, and the talent and dedication of its people.