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(Pocket-lint) - Virgin Media's new chief executive will be Tom Mockridge, a former Rupert Murdoch confidant who has previously acted as CEO of News International, CEO of Sky Italia and CEO of News Corp's European television operations. He has also been a non-executive director at Sky.

He will replace the outgoing Neil Berkett as the head of the UK cable TV, broadband and communications provider after the sale to Liberty Global is finalised next month. Shareholders need to vote on the deal, but that is seen as a formality.

The move to bring Mockridge into the Virgin Media set-up is being reported as a bold and intelligent move. He will be leading the company as it continues to be the major rival to his former employer, with News Corp continuing to hold a 39 per cent stake in BSkyB.

For the consumer, it will mean some interesting times ahead as Mockridge will bring a wealth of experience in running successful and innovative television technology companies to the role.

"Thanks to the incredible energy of its employees and the loyalty of its customers, Virgin Media has become the UK’s leading broadband communications company and has developed an immensely powerful media brand," Mockridge said.

"I keenly anticipate joining the team as it continues to deliver the cutting-edge TV and broadband products and services that excite and inspire its customers across the UK. I’m also excited to become part of the Liberty Global family and look forward to working closely with Mike and his team as they continue to build the world’s largest cable platform."

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 8 May 2013.