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Liberty Global restructures CEE following Virgin deal

Mike Fries

Liberty Global boss Mike Fries

Liberty Global has reshuffled management at its Central and Eastern Europe division as it seeks to drive better regional cooperation across its portfolio following the acquisition of UK MSO Virgin Media.

Under the new CEE structure Betzalel Kenigsztein takes the new role of managing director, CEE. The move sees Kenigsztein elevated from Liberty Global’s managing director, Hungary. He will report to Diederik Karsten, executive VP of Global European Broadband Operations.

Having worked in the Israeli cable business, Kenigsztein joined Liberty in 2004 as CTO of UPC Netherlands. He was appointed boss of UPC Hungary in 2009.

Severina Pascu will assume Kenigsztein’s previous responsibilities, adding the managing director, Hungary, role to her existing position of managing director, Romania. She was an investment banker before joining UPC Romania in 2008 as CFO and was upped to managing director in 2011.

“With the acquisition of Virgin Media, the Liberty Global group has significantly grown in size, requiring a further rebalancing of its management structure,” the company said. “As [the CEE] operations continue to benefit from the economies of scale within Liberty Global, this new focus will also allow the company to explore opportunities for more regional cooperation.”

The new roles and structure becomes effective August 15.

The changes follow a recent rejig at Liberty Global’s content division, Chellomedia, in the region.

The Virgin Media deal has prompted several executive moves at Liberty Global.

Michael Lee was appointed managing director of satellite TV arm UPC DTH in June, replacing Magnus Ternsjö, who was appointed as the new CEO of UPC Ireland earlier the same month. The previous holder of that post Dana Strong was named as COO of  Virgin Media, replacing Andrew Barron.

Other changes announced since the Virgin Media deal was finalised include Stephane David joining the UK business as executive director of content, having previously been Liberty Global’s vice president of programming. That announcement coincided with Virgin Media’s executive director of digital entertainment, Cindy Rose, announcing she was leaving the cabler.

UPC Netherlands managing director Robert Dunn has also replaced Eamonn O’Hare as Virgin Media’s CFO since the deal. The most significant change, announced in May, was the appointment of former News International CEO Tom Mockridge as CEO, replacing Neil Berkett.