DirecTV has reached out to Blake Krikorian as a possible successor to Chase Carey as CEO, paidContent has learned. If that doesn’t work out, another option could be joining the DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) board. Carey started his new job as vice chairman, president and COO of News Corp (NYSE: NWS) today; his departure from DirecTV left a gap at the very top of the satellite operator controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA).
Blake and his brother Jason created the SlingBox, the most disruptive device to hit the TV industry since the DVR. Reached at home by phone Wednesday evening, Blake declined to discuss the possibilities, saying, “I’m enjoying my summer right now. I dont really want to talk about any work.” It would be a big jump for Krikorian, who remained CEO of Sling while at EchoStar; publicly traded DirecTV had a market cap of $24.82 billion when trading closed Wednesday.
The brothers founded Sling Media, then sold the company to EchoStar (NSDQ: SATS) in 2007 in a deal valued at $380 million. They left EchoStar earlier this year; it’s unclear whether there is a non-compete that would cause problems should Blake opt to work for competitor DirecTV.
Another more obvious name in contention for the position is Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media. Maffei didn’t deny his interest in this CNBC interview last week.
DirecTV was majority owned by News Corp. when Carey went over in 2003; part of his mission there was to facilitate the transfer to Liberty Media in exchange for the company’s News Corp. holdings. It is now in the midst of a complicated merger with Liberty Entertainment that is not expected to close until late this year.
By Staci D. Kramer