Austin to Leave DirecTV


Roxanne Austin, president and chief operating officer of DirecTV Inc., will leave the company upon conclusion of its acquisition by News Corp., DirecTV said Friday.

Austin announced her departure on the heels of a story in the Los Angeles Times asserting that News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch plans to give her job to Mitch Stern, chairman and CEO of the Fox TV Stations Group.

Under Austin's leadership, DirecTV has increased its revenue 37%, from $5.5 billion in 2001 to a projected $7.6 billion in 2003. The company also has decreased customer churn from 1.8% to 1.5% and increased its net income to $200 million in projected profit in 2003 from a $178 million loss in 2001.