Sky Latin America hires Exxon exec as CEO

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MIAMI--Direct-to-home satellite TV operator Sky Multi-Country Partners has hired Exxon Corp. executive Vicente Diego as its new CEO, ending a six-month search to fill the top job.

He succeeds Mark Goldman, who left the Sky Latin America service at the end of July 1999, when his two-year contract expired. Chief FinancialOfficer David Torkington has been acting CEO, but will return to his financial role exclusively.

Mr. Diego joins Sky from Exxon International, where he held various positions in Latin America and Europe during the past 19 years. Most recently, he was retail executive, Europe. In that job, he acted as the shareholders' representative for the retail business, with its 10,000 retail stores in 20 countries in Europe and North Africa.

Rival DTH operator Galaxy Latin America also went outside the TV industry for its new president, hiring George Foyo from AT&T Corp.

As CEO of Sky Multi-Country Partners, Mr. Diego is responsible for Sky's DTH Latam operations throughout the entire region except for Brazil and Mexico, where the local platforms are operated and majority-owned by Globo and Televisa, respectively. Globo and Televisa are also investors in Sky Multi-Country with News Corp. and TCI International.

Outside those two countries, Sky has a subsidiary operation in Chile and a joint venture in Colombia.

To start, Mr. Diego will focus on Sky's long-delayed launch in Argentina, where it has another joint venture. On Jan. 7, an Argentine Federal Court lifted the suspension of its operating license, freeing Sky to move ahead. A launch date has not yet been set.

Copyright January 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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