The Australian executive, who was a stalwart of Rupert Murdoch’s broadcasting empire until the Comcast sale in 2018, set up Sky Studios last year, bringing together the pay-TV giant’s originals commissioning and production under one roof.
He was the managing director of Sky when it first launched in the UK in 1989 and returned to Britain in 2015 as managing director of content after spells in Italy and Germany at other Murdoch-associated TV brands, including Sky Deutschland. He was elevated to Sky Studios CEO in June 2019.
In the 1980s, Davey was employed by News Corporation boss Murdoch to work on special projects at the company’s headquarters in New York and helped launch the Fox Stations Group in the U.S.
In an email to staff, Davey said: “As you will imagine, this has not been an easy decision for me, and I would only be stepping down if I believed that our business had rock-solid foundations, strong and ambitious leadership and a bright and exciting future ahead of it. All of this is true.”
“Next year Sky Studios will become profitable and the year after we will open the doors to Sky Studios Elstree, a huge, long-term investment in Sky’s original content ambition, enabling us to truly fulfil our potential as we look to more than double our investment by 2024. All of this makes Sky Studios one of the most exciting places to work in TV.”
He added that he was retiring to spend more time on his farm in Sicily, but will be around to help install his successor. Davey picked out shows including The Third Day and I Hate Suzie as being memorable parts of his legacy, but admitted: “Not every show has been a ratings hit, but looking back, I have no regrets for any of our green-lights.”
Sky group CEO Jeremy Darroch added: “Under Gary’s leadership, Sky Studios is off to a roaring start, more than fulfilling the ambition and vision we had for the organisation in the first 18 months. This year Sky Originals, produced by Sky Studios, continue to dominate our customers viewing across the Group, from Petra to Gangs of London, Das Boot to I Hate Suzie. In 2021, Sky Studios will become profitable and in 2022, we’ll open the doors to Sky Studios Elstree.
“Despite the challenges of COVID, the business is in rude health and I couldn’t be more grateful to Gary for expertly guiding Sky Studios through this launch phase and building a strong team around him in the process… We will all miss Gary and his love of content, his energy and his wise counsel, however there’ll be plenty of time for fond farewells next summer. In the meantime it’s ‘full steam ahead’ as Gary likes to remind his Sky Studios team each week.”