El Segundo, Calif. — Chase Carey, president and CEO of the DirecTV Group, will be leaving the company to take a position as deputy chairman of News Corp., effective July 1, the satellite provider formally revealed Wednesday.
DirecTV’s board formed a committee to search for Carey’s replacement, and, in the interim, Larry Hunter will take over as acting CEO in addition to his current responsibilities as legal affairs, human resources and administration executive VP.
“The past six years have been a phenomenal experience, and I am extremely proud of the business we have built,” Carey said in a statement. “The credit goes to an extraordinary senior management and overall employee base that has combined passion, energy and unique abilities to establish DirecTV as the premier television service.DirecTV is in a great place with a tremendously exciting future ahead of it.”
Carey, who replaced Eddy Hartenstein after News Corp. took controlling interest in the satellite-TV provider from GM/Hughes Electronics, had been a longtime high-ranking executive in the News Corp. organization. News Corp. sold its controlling interest in DirecTV to John Malone’s Liberty Media last year.
That company recently announced that DirecTV would be merged with Liberty’s entertainment programming operations and spun off as a separate company.
Under Carey, DirecTV’s subscriber count grew from 12 million to more than 18 million customers in the United States, while growing free cash flow from break-even in 2003 to $1.7 billion last year.
DirecTV lists his other achievements as the execution of an HD strategy that leapfrogged the competition, the implementation of tougher credit policies to improve subscriber value and a concerted effort to improve customer service throughout the company.
In 2004, Carey over saw the rationalization of the Latin America business after it emerged from bankruptcy and went on to grow, from 1.5 million subscribers, to 5.8 million subscribers today, becoming the largest pay-TV operator in Latin America.