Virgin Media Boss Building Company up from the Top

The boss of Virgin Media, New Zealander Tom Mockridge, a former senior lieutenant in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, has been busy since he was installed as chief executive last June. For much of the past nine months Mockridge has been stripping costs out of Britain’s only major cable operator, now owned by Liberty Global, the European arm of American businessman John Malone’s media empire.

For starters, he made 600 senior and middle managers redundant and moved the company’s headquarters from the heart of glamorous media land in Covent Garden to the more business-like surroundings of Hammersmith.

As well as making cuts, Mockridge has rebuilt the Virgin Media top management team with telecoms and media veterans and is now reinvesting some of the savings made in the businesses products. Last week it was announced that Virgin Media would be spending £100m to double the speed of the cable network to roughly twice BT’s top speed.

Mockridge quit News Corp in December 2012, telling journalists that with the business due to be split into separate publishing and television groups, Murdoch had not offered him a job he wanted.

“Liberty Global is a European company. It believes in European integration and believes that the efficiency you can get from scale means better products,” Mockridge says.

“You only get revenue by getting customers and keeping customers. We’re not making a choice to wind back on profit to just grab share and nor are we just going to cut our way to profitability.”

Mockridge was born in Lower Hutt in 1955.

Original article by Christopher Williams, The Telegraph, March 1, 2014.

Photo by Heathcliff O’Malley.

Tags: BT  Hammersmith  John Malone  Liberty Global  News Corporation  Rupert Murdoch  Telegraph (The)  Tom Mockridge  Virgin Media