Jane Millichip is stepping down as chief content officer at Sky Studios after nine years in the role, with her departure sparking a management restructure that sees COO Caroline Cooper expand her remit.
In an internal note, seen by TBI, from Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios, it was revealed that Millichip will exit the company at the end of April to “seek new challenges.”
Under her leadership, Sky Vision, Sky’s former production and distribution arm, grew from £8m revenues to £250m in six years and spearheaded Sky’s investment into independent production companies and content distribution.
Since the formation of Sky Studios, Millichip expanded her initial commercial remit to include leading editorial activities across the UK, Germany and Italy with teams working Sky Originals such as A Discovery of Witches, Der Pass and the upcoming The Rising.
Frot-Coutaz described Millichip as “a strong champion and key architect of Sky’s push into sustainable production across all our Sky Originals as well as our continued drive to attract and elevate diverse talent.”
In a separate memo, also seen by TBI, Millichip said that her decision to leave was “agonising”. She wrote: “In the nine years I have been at Sky we have evolved from a company principally known for its acquired content to a centre of excellence for Originals. And we have built a commercial model that means the Sky Original brand is seen throughout the world.”
She added: “I’d like to thank Cécile for her support and collaboration. I know she has a great plan for Sky Studios, and for you all. You have my full support and commitment in my remaining three months here.”
Promotion for commercial growth
Outlining subsequent changes as a result of Millichip’s departure, Frot-Coutaz revealed that director of drama commissioning Gabriel Silver, creative director of drama Preethi Mavahalli, head of comedy Jon Mountague, SVP Sky Studios Deutschland & Italia Nils Hartmann and BskyB SVP Rebecca Segal will now report directly to her.
“Having been in role for five months, I have also taken the opportunity to review how we are organised and how we operate,” wrote Frot-Coutaz. “With immediate effect, we are putting in place a number of changes to enable us to better deliver on our significant ambition in original content.”
Sky Studios COO Caroline Cooper will meanwhile expand her remit, taking charge of broader commercial activities as well as production operations, while retaining overall responsibility for Sky Studios Elstree.
Sky Studios business affairs, led by Julian Dexter, its international scripted team, led by Jason Simms, content operations, led by Bee Devine, and director of corporate development, Rob Siegel will now report to Cooper, with immediate effect.
Frot-Coutaz said that Cooper has “the perfect mix of skills, experience, and leadership capability to deliver the next phase of commercial and operational growth to Sky Studios.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Caroline Cooper as Sky Studios CFO and has since been updated.