UPC MD’s departure stuns Polish market

Simon BoydUPC Polska’s long-standing MD Simon Boyd has decided to retire and will leave his position at the end of the year.

As of January 1, 2014, Betzalel Kenigsztein, MD Liberty Global Central and Eastern European Region, will take a more active oversight role of UPC Polska’s operations as part of existing operations until a successor is found.

Boyd’s departure has stunned the Polish TV industry, with several of its top executives and representatives, among them Jerzy Straszewski, the president of the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communications (PIKE), expressing surprise.

Even Dominik Libicki, the president of Cyfrowy Polsat, one of UPC Polska’s main competitors, has said Boyd’s decision to step down is a big loss to the market as a whole.

Speculating on reasons for Boyd’s departure, some local media sources refer to recent difficulties such as the long time it took for UPC Polska to integrate Aster into its operations and its failure to acquire Multimedia Polska.

Boyd has been with the company for 16 years and MD of UPC Polska since 2002. Prior to that he was CFO of UPC Polska and previously held various positions at predecessor companies of the UPC group. During his tenure, UPC became the leading provider of digital cable services in the country.

Commenting on his departure, Boyd said: “I am very proud of UPC Polska’s achievements. With passion and dedication, our team made UPC the clear technological leader in Polish broadband internet and interactive television market. There is still a lot to be done, but the foundations are solid. Our industry remains dynamic and fascinating. I wish all UPC Polska employees and business partners all the best.”

Diederik Karsten, executive VP of Liberty Global’s European Broadband Operations added: “I would like to thank Simon as he has been instrumental in building UPC Poland to what it is today. I respect his decision after such a long career in the cable business and more than a decade with our group and I wish him all the best.”