VodafoneZiggo: Former Sky Boss Stephen van Rooyen Made CEO

Stephen van Rooyen, incoming CEO of VodafoneZiggo
Stephen van Rooyen was the CEO of Sky UK & Ireland and Chief Commercial Officer for the Sky Group before taking on the CEO role at VodafoneZiggo

VodafoneZiggo — the Dutch joint venture between the Vodafone Group and Liberty Global — has appointed Sky veteran Stephen van Rooyen as its incoming CEO.

This comes after outgoing CEO Jeroen Hoencamp announced his retirement in October, effective this month.

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Stephen will assume his new role in September, with Ritchy Drost, VodafoneZiggo’s Chief Financial Officer, at the helm as Interim CEO in the meantime.

Who is Stephen van Rooyen, the incoming CEO of VodafoneZiggo?

Stephen’s career at Sky spanned 18 years, with him working his way up through the ranks of senior leadership before taking the top jobs of EVP & CEO of UK & Europe and CEO of UK & Ireland & Group Chief Commercial Officer in 2016 and 2023 respectively. He then took a break from the company earlier this year before assuming his new position at VodafoneZiggo.

His career at Sky stretched across a number of geographies outside of the UK and Ireland, namely Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. 

“Having held senior commercial and leadership roles at Sky, Stephen brings considerable expertise of both the telecoms and media sectors in Europe,” Vodafone Group Chief Executive Margherita Della Valle said. “We wish him every success when he takes over in September.”

Margherita Della Valle, Group CEO and CFO at Vodafone

Stephen’s new position will take him to Utretch in the Netherlands. He said of his new position: “I am incredibly excited to join the VodafoneZiggo family. Having been based in London for many years, I look forward to a new experience, for both me and my family, living and working in the Netherlands.”

During his tenure at Sky, Stephen was behind a number of product launches including Sky Mobile, Sky Broadband, NOW TV as well as the evolution of Sky’s TV platforms, Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream.

Before joining Sky in 2006, Stephen worked for a number of other big telco names and large entities from other industries, including Virgin Media and Nokia, as well as BGL Group, Accenture, News UK and Johnston Press, as well as acting as Chairman of Skills & Productivity Board for the UK Government's Department for education.

Mike Fries, Liberty Global’s CEO added: “Stephen is an exceptionally talented executive with a strong track record of driving growth and innovation over the last two decades with Sky. He brings with him deep expertise in brand, products and innovation which is exactly what we need in the competitive Dutch market.”

Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global

Onward plans for VodafoneZiggo

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VodafoneZiggo has a progress for humanity and the environment commitment, which outlines ambitious plans for the company by 2025. This includes its commitment to have helped two million people move forward in society and halve its impact on the environment. 

Laura van Gestel, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), said of the plans for 2025: “This is an ambition of everyone, the entire company. All the units will make their own contribution to our impact on humanity and environment, and more importantly, we will measure that too.

Laura van Gestel, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Liberty Global

“The most important principle of our CSR policy is that we deal with our impact on humanity and environment in a very conscious way. And that we do everything we can to ensure this impact is positive. That way of thinking is becoming increasingly important in our company culture and identity.”

This accompanies VodafoneZiggo’s equally ambitious growth plans, in which it expects network capacity to grow significantly with Docsis 4.0 and other network modifications.

It is committed to investing in the network of the future to ensure its offerings. VodafoneZiggo says keeping all its equipment and infrastructure operational costs around €16 million (US$17.4m), costs that increase annually. It adds that all in all, maintenance and keeping its networks on air costs about €200m (US$217.2m) per year. The brand invests approximately €30m (US$32.6m) each year in software and hardware and in the capacity of its networks.

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