SBS apppoints new Managing Director

The Board of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is pleased to announce that after an international search, Mr Michael Ebeid has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of SBS.  He will commence on 13 June 2011, succeeding Shaun Brown, who had previously announced his retirement.

Mr Ebeid joins SBS from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), where he has been the Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Marketing.  Prior to the ABC, Mr Ebeid spent ten years with Optus Communications where his last role was Director of Commercial Operations for the Consumer Division, responsible for strategy, business development, regulatory and finance across internet, Pay TV and telephony.  Earlier, Mr Ebeid worked at IBM for nine years in Australia and Asia.

SBS Chairman, Mr Joe Skrzynski, said: “Mr Ebeid brings to SBS a special set of personal and professional skills, with the right blend of operational and strategic experience from his twenty-four years in the Media, Telecommunications and IT technology sectors which represent the three arms of the convergence changing the entertainment and information landscape in Australia.

“He is extremely well suited to lead SBS in its mission to promote social harmony by helping migrants to settle and participate fully in Australian society, and assisting all Australians to understand and appreciate the benefits of cultural diversity.

“As SBS moves into its fourth decade, its Charter is more vitally relevant than ever.  Not only is our population manifestly more complex and diverse, but today there are three million Australians whose first language is not English and that is twice as many as when we were first formed,” Mr Skrzynski said.

On his appointment, Mr Ebeid said:“I am very excited to be joining SBS, an organisation that has been inspiring its audiences to explore and appreciate our multicultural world, and has helped contribute to a more inclusive Australian society.  I am looking forward to ensuring that SBS grows its relevance and reach at a time when the media landscape and audience habits are fundamentally changing.  SBS is an organisation that can and does make a difference, and it is an honour to lead it.”  

Mr Skrzynski paid tribute to Shaun Brown for the major changes and achievements during his management, including the new free to air digital channels, the Pay TV channels, the many awards and rating successes of outstanding programs, and the high reputation that SBS enjoys in its specialist news services.

Media contact: Jane McMillan 02 9430 2807 or 0438 690 305

About SBS

SBS Television sources content from more than 100 countries and is watched by more than 7 million Australians each week.  

SBS Radio is the world’s most linguistically diverse radio network, broadcasting 68 language programs.

SBS Online provides audio streaming of all its language programs, more than any other website in the world.

SBS is also the only free to air broadcaster to participate in Pay TV, with its World Movies and Studio channels.

Its programs are aimed at all Australians, including the 45% of the population who are first or second generation migrants.

SBS programs have won many awards in Australia and overseas, and it is the only Australian broadcaster to win an Oscar for one of its programs.

Michael Ebeid : Bio Highlights

Michael Ebeid has over 24 years experience in senior management and executive roles across the technology, telecommunications and media industries.

Michael has recently been with the ABC as the Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Marketing overseeing its strategy, business development, corporate marketing, including brand management and the audience research functions. Michael led the creation of a new brand vision, the ABC’s first cross divisional strategic marketing plan, Television’s production review, and the 2010-2013 ABC Strategic Plan.

Previously, Michael was with Optus Communications, where he was Director of Commercial Operations (CFO/COO) for Consumer and Multimedia, Optus’ largest division with over 3000 staff.  He led the formation of the division in 1999 when revenues were $560m, then embarked on a series of strategic initiatives turning the business around and taking revenues to $1.8b in four years. He was responsible for managing the division’s finance, strategy, regulatory and business development teams across telephony, internet and Pay Television.  Michael also played a key role in Optus Television’s Digital Interactive TV launch and the Foxtel/Optus Content Sharing deal in 2001, and was on the Board of Pay TV’s industry body, ASTRA, from 2001-2005.

Prior to Optus, Michael was an executive at IBM for nine years in various finance management, sales and marketing positions, and worked in Tokyo and other Asian countries.

Michael has completed a Bachelor of Business (Charles Sturt University), International Executive Development Program (INSEAD Business College, France), and Media Strategies Program (Harvard Business School).

Michael was born in Cairo, Egypt, and moved to Australia with his family when he was three years old.  He was raised and educated in Sydney where he continues to live with his partner. Michael’s interests are in Film, the Arts and Current Affairs, and his leisure activities include scuba diving, water skiing, sky diving and travel.