SBS managing director Michael Ebeid has announced he will depart the broadcaster in October.
Ebeid joined SBS in June 2011, and has been the broadcaster’s longest serving MD. He is said to be announcing his next role in the coming weeks, while SBS board will immediately begin a recruitment process for his replacement.
While at the helm Ebeid has overseen SBS’s digital evolution, including the launch of SBS On Demand in late 2011. During his tenure he also managed the launch of NITV free-to-air, Food Network and SBS Viceland.
Ebeid also helped to secure long-term rights agreements for the FIFA World Cup through to 2022, a 10-year deal for the Tour de France and negotiated Australian representation in the Eurovision Song Contest.
In 2017, the MD was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to broadcast media and multicultural affairs as an executive, innovator and business leader.
In a statement, Ebeid said: “My decision to step down has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made. Serving as the SBS managing director has been a real honour and privilege and I depart feeling confident that this is the right time for a new managing director to take the organisation 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 organisation 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.”
Chairman of the SBS board Dr Bulent Hass Dellal thanked Ebeid for his service. “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 organisation as a distinctive media provider as changes in the media sector continue to present challenges and opportunities.
“Michael had the foresight to recognise early that the SBS Charter and the organisation’s commitment to diverse multicultural communities provided an opportunity for relevant digital evolution and in-depth storytelling on new and emerging platforms; a strategy which continues to serve the organisation well. He has also invested significant time in improving employee engagement which is critical for the organisation’s future success. We certainly would not have been able to achieve such success without the absolute dedication and professionalism of our SBS people and Michael also leaves with a strong and capable leadership team in place. We wish him all the very best in his next endeavours.”