Sky Österreich MD Scheil departs, replaced by Sky Ireland’s O’Rourke

Christine Scheil, managing director of Sky Österreich, will leave her position on December 31, with Neal O’Rourke, chief finance and strategy officer at sister company Sky Ireland, replacing her at the pay-television broadcaster in the new year.

Scheil has been at Sky for 20 years and was appointed managing director in 2015. Prior to her ascent to the top job, she was senior vice-president of investor relations, equity capital markets and governance at parent company Sky Deutschland.

Sky has said she will continue to work with the broadcaster as a consultant in the near future.

During her time as managing director, Sky signed an eight-season agreement for domestic and international rights to the Austrian Bundesliga, in what was at the time the biggest media-rights deal in the country’s history.

In his time at Sky Ireland since 2014, O’Rourke has been a key stakeholder in sports rights acquisitions including deal with the English Premier League and Gaelic Athletic Association.

It was recently announced that Sky Deutschland chief executive Carsten Schmidt would also leave at the end of the year.

Having been taken over by US-based media giant Comcast in 2018, there have been several high-profile departures at Sky Deutschland, including Marcello Maggioni (chief commercial officer), Roman Steuer (sporting director) Paul Sexton-Chadwick (senior vice-president of OTT service Sky Ticket), Thomas Deissenberger (chief executive of advertising arm Sky Media) and Ralph Fürther (head of communications).

The exodus continued at the start of November as David Morgenbesser, director of sports rights and commercialisation, took up a role at Servus TV, the Red Bull-owned free-to-air broadcaster in Austria, as head of sports rights and content distribution.