MILAN: Vodafone executive Andrea Duilio has emerged as a top candidate to lead the Italian operations of European pay-TV company SKY, two industry sources told Reuters on Friday.
Sky kicked off the process to select a new head for its Italian business after chief executive Maximo Ibarra stepped down in April as CEO.
A former head of Dutch telecoms group KPN, Ibarra, who oversaw the launch of Sky's broadband service in Italy last year, will leave the company owned by U.S. media group Comcast after the end of July.
Duilio, who leads Vodafone's consumer business unit in Italy, emerged as a top contender among external candidates and is in pole position for the job, the two people said. A third person said no final decision has been taken yet.
The sources have told Reuters Sky was also considering internal candidacies for the role, including Karl Holmes and Patrick Béhar, respectively chief operating officer for Sky Europe and chief business officer for Sky's UK and Ireland operations.
Sky and Vodafone declined to comment.
Sky Italia, which is Italy's top pay-TV player, earlier this year suffered a blow when top-flight soccer league Serie A awarded the bulk of domestic screening rights to streaming services DAZN, which sealed a distribution agreement with Italy's biggest phone group Telecom Italia.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Tomasz Janowski)