Sophie Moloney - a Canterbury University law grad and grand-daughter of All Black Jack Taylor - returned to New Zealand in 2018 after an offshore stint that saw her working in legal and commercial positions with pay-TV operators including Sky UK. She took a role as general counsel for Sky NZ before being promoted to chief legal, people and partnerships officer in 2019 then chief executive after the surprise departure of Martin Stewart on November 30.
What was your first job?
I was paid, on commission, to sell dead, freeze-dried Valentine's Day roses to unsuspecting customers. While I was good at making the sales, I decided work would probably be more fun if you could sell something you can be proud of!
What was your worst job?
How would you describe 2020 for your business?
Almost everyone in Aotearoa had a challenging year, and we're no different, but we also had a good dose of inspiration and fulfilment. Our people were superb, focusing on looking after our customers, partners and each other.
Having major events like the Olympics postponed, and the temporary cancellation of live sport, were totally unprecedented events.
And we also saw how important access to quality news and entertainment is in challenging times. I'm very proud of how the team kept pushing to deliver on our goals through all of this.
How do you think the Government has handled the Covid-19 crisis?
I think the results speak for themselves: the fact we are heading into the summer able to enjoy the company of family and friends, and attend sports events and concerts, is a tribute to the decisive action from the Government and the collective effort from Kiwis across the country.
What are two key things the Government should do for economic recovery?
Capitalise on our position as a beacon for doing the right thing and open up safely to enable sustainable growth – tourism and other access into and out of NZ remains vital. Related to this, enabling targeted immigration to ensure New Zealand is attracting the full range of talent it needs across all sectors.
How is your business planning to tackle 2021?
2021 is about execution. We will build on our efforts of 2020, putting our customers first and striving to create more value for them. We've secured the rights that matter in sport and entertainment, we're rolling out Sky Broadband - offering it first to our loyal Sky customers and rewarding them for their support - and we'll continue to have a sharp focus on managing our costs while ensuring that we invest in the right things to sustain the business.
It will also be a year when we put a lot of energy into our team and our culture to make sure Sky is a great place to work.
What will be the major challenges and/or opportunities for your industry?
Fragmentation of content offerings is a challenge and an opportunity for us. Sky is the ultimate aggregator in our home market, bringing together the best content offering in one place, working closely with content and distribution partners to achieve this aim.
What was the most interesting non-Covid story of 2020?
Elections – ours and the US. We saw record viewership of our international news channels around the time of the US election, and it will be fascinating to see what happens in January and beyond. On our own patch, I look forward to seeing how Labour uses its electoral mandate to deliver.
What was your favourite TV series of 2020?
I love a great, gripping TV series. The Undoing was a must-watch for me this year. It was a great cast with brilliant plot twists and turns!
Where are you holidaying this summer?
Wellington (for Christmas) and Whangamata (for barbecues and backyard cricket).
What are your predictions for 2021?
Sky continuing to provide an awesome array of great content to all New Zealanders, the continued rising prominence of women's sport, a slow return to international travel and adventures, continued growth in the New Zealand economy and an exciting return of Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa!