Liberty Global announced today that Lutz Schüler will become Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media, reporting to CEO Tom Mockridge, on September 10, 2018. He is currently the CEO of Unitymedia, a Liberty Global subsidiary in Germany, and will be replaced by the current Chief Financial Officer Winfried “Winni” Rapp.
Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said: “For the past eight years Lutz has done an outstanding job running our operations in Germany and creating significant value for Liberty Global. Since our initial acquisitions in
2009 and 2010, Unitymedia has grown revenue 60% and operating cash flow 80%, and has led the market in broadband innovation. With the pending sale of our German business to Vodafone, Virgin Media takes on greater importance within our platform in Europe and we want the strongest team possible driving this business. I couldn’t be happier to keep Lutz in the Liberty family.”
Tom Mockridge commented: “I’m excited to have Lutz join the Virgin Media team. His track record in Germany as an operator speaks for itself and he will provide a new level of marketing energy and leadership that will benefit
Virgin Media customers and employees. I want to thank Jeff Dodds and Neil Bartholomew who have enabled us to seamlessly navigate the past few months and helped deliver our continued string of growth quarter after quarter.”
Lutz Schüler said: “I’m thrilled to join the Virgin Media team and work alongside Tom. As I embrace this new challenge, I know that Unitymedia will be in strong, capable hands under Winni’s leadership. He is committed to our customers, to our employees and to the communities we serve.”
Winfried Rapp further commented: “Taking the reins at Unitymedia at this critical time is a great honor. If you want to see the future of the TV and broadband business you need to look no further than Unitymedia. I will continue
our proud tradition of innovation and our customers will be well served when Unitymedia and Vodafone join forces. This is an exciting time for our customers and employees.”
Mr Schüler will take over the role that was vacated in March 2018 and has been filled in the interim by two leaders of Virgin Media’s UK Consumer Division, Jeff Dodds and Neil Bartholomew. Both will retain key leadership roles heading the Mobile and Customer Operations, respectively, when Mr Schüler joins in
In May Liberty Global announced the sale of its operations in Germany, as well as three other Eastern European markets, to Vodafone for €19 billion ($22.7 billion1) on a U.S. GAAP basis. Mr Schüler will be appointed Chairman of Unitymedia’s Supervisory Board to ensure continuity through the conclusion of the regulatory approval process, expected to occur in mid-2019. The current Chairman, Diederik Karsten, will remain on the Supervisory Board.