Sam Barnett has resigned as CEO of MBC Group.
Barnett had been at the helm of the Dubai-based company – the first big broadcaster in the Arab world – for 17 years.
Announcing his departure in a memo to staff, chairman Waleed Al Ibrahim said the resignation was met with “a mix of sadness and gratitude”.
He added: “Since 2002, Sam has played a pivotal role in the development and great success of the group, leading by example with ambition, resilience, fairness and high standards of integrity and humility, achieving numerous significant accomplishments in the process.”
Barnett will continue to work with the company in an advisory role from January 2020.
MBC, which was launched in 1991 in London before relocating to Dubai, currently has 18 channels as well as online platforms and the first free video on demand (VOD) catch-up portal in the Arab world. It is also behind the hit television show ‘Arabs Got Talent’.
In March, the group acquired the rights to broadcast the FIA Formula One races in the Middle East and North Africa region, offering free-to-air for all for the next five years.