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Ex-Murdoch man given new CEO seat at Virgin Media

Liberty Global appoints Tom Mockridge

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A veteran News Corp exec is to become the next chief of Virgin Media once US cable giant completes its acquisition of the telco.

Tom Mockridge briefly held the CEO job at News International following Rebekah Brooks' scandal-hit exit from the one-time News of the World publisher.

He will replace Neil Berkett, who confirmed he was leaving Virgin Media earlier this year after VM's planned sale to John Malone's Liberty Global was announced. Since then, the company has been searching for a suitable replacement.

In February, Berkett - who stands to be £42m richer when he steps down from VM - said that he was "not a very good number two" in reference to Malone's arrival in the UK.

Mockridge, on the other hand, has form in serving under a media mogul.

He worked at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for more than 20 years, having joined the multinational in 1991.

Mockridge previously headed up Sky Italia, before taking the chief exec role at News International after Brooks quit her job at the disgraced British tabloid publisher in July 2011 at the height of the phone-hacking scandal.

He will report directly to Liberty Global's president and CEO Mike Fries once the buyout completes later this summer. ®

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