Richard Freudenstein to Depart Foxtel


SYDNEY: Foxtel’s CEO, Richard Freudenstein, is stepping down from the company after four and a half years, to be succeeded by News Corp Australia CEO Peter Tonagh.

Freudenstein will leave Foxtel at the end of April but will remain in his long-standing position as a News Corp nominee on the board of REA Group Limited. Tonagh, who held the joint roles of chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Foxtel for nine years, takes over the CEO responsibilities after Freudenstein’s departure. Freudenstein and Tonagh will work together to transition the Foxtel leadership over coming weeks.

Freudenstein commented: “It has been a privilege to lead Foxtel through the most dynamic and intensely competitive period of its history. I am extremely proud to have worked with such a great team of people who have all helped deliver our strategic plans by achieving significant subscriber growth, reduced churn and a substantial lift in our investment in Australian programming.

“So much has happened in the past four-and-a-half years. Highlights include the 2012 London Olympics where we revolutionized coverage with eight channels and every gold medal live, the launch of Foxtel Go, the re-packaging of Foxtel content to reduce prices and drive record growth, the finalization of major sporting deals, and the launch of an exciting array of Australian programs, many of which have won major awards. We have been at the forefront of the revolution in the way Australians view television.

“I was a member of the Foxtel team in its earliest days in the 1990s and it has been a genuine privilege to lead it during these important years. I am confident that the business has the financial strength, innovative spirit and depth and breadth of content relationships to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing media landscape. I am excited about Foxtel’s future and I wish Peter and the team all the best.”

News Corp’s global chief executive, Robert Thomson, thanked Freudenstein for his strategic direction and leadership of Foxtel and welcomed his decision to stay on the REA board. “News Corp is now the world’s largest player in digital real estate and Richard has been integral to our domestic and international growth,” he said. “His leadership and guidance were pivotal in the acquisition of in the US and I am delighted he will remain involved in this dynamic part of our business.”

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn commented: “Peter is well positioned to lead Foxtel through the next phase of its evolution and build on Richard’s achievements.”

Tonagh added: “Foxtel is an incredible business with an exciting future and I look forward to building on Richard’s contribution to deliver the next stage of Foxtel’s growth,”