Michael Ebeid, who has led Australian national media organization SBS for more than seven years, has decided to step down from his role within the company.
Ebeid, who has been SBS’s managing director since June 2011, will depart the Aussie pubcaster on Oct. 1 and will make an announcement in coming weeks about his next role. His successor has yet to be named.
“My decision to step down has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made,” said Ebeid in a statement. “Serving as the SBS managing director has been a real honor and privilege and I depart feeling confident that this is the right time for a new MD to take the organization forward.
“SBS is the strongest it has been in over 40 years. We are more relevant than ever and we are ready for the future. Considering the struggle of societies globally to integrate diverse communities harmoniously, SBS today performs a critical role in the Australian community. We are the media organization audiences can come to, on their preferred platform or device, for distinctive programs and different perspectives that create a better shared understanding within our diverse, multicultural society.”
Under his leadership, Ebeid has led the organization through seven years of continuous growth by transforming its content-making and distribution models and launching free-to-air channels National Indigenous Television (NITV), Food Network and SBS Viceland, as well as the streaming service SBS On Demand in late 2011.
As a result, an average of 13 million Australians each month engage with the network’s channels.
In addition, Ebeid has secured long-term rights agreements for the FIFA World Cup through to 2022 and a 10-year deal for the Tour de France and negotiated Australian representation in the Eurovision Song Contest. He has also struck broadcast deals for the English Premier League and Australia’s top-flight soccer league, the A-League.
Added Dr. Bulent Hass Dellal, chairman of the SBS board of directors: “Whilst we are very disappointed that Michael is leaving us, there is no doubt that he departs an organization which is stronger, sustainable and backed by an important and valued purpose to contribute to the ongoing social and economic development of our nation through media services which foster greater understanding and encourage social cohesion.
“In particular, I commend Michael for his focus on negotiating sustainable government funding, whilst also improving commercial revenues, which have secured SBS’s financial capacity to deliver on its charter. The board has valued Michael’s attention to extracting value from SBS activities to position the organization as a distinctive media provider as changes in the media sector continue to present challenges and opportunities.”