SBS CEO and managing director Michael Ebeid to step down

The chief executive officer and managing director of multi-cultural and specialist broadcaster SBS will step down in October after 7.5 years at the helm.

SBS said it will commence the search for Michael Ebeid’s replacement immediately. 

Ebeid will make an announcement about his new role in coming weeks

In April, one of Australia’s best-known media executives, John Sintras, returned to Australian shores to become the network’s chief audience and content officer, replacing Helen Kellie who passed away in December last year.

SBS said Ebeid would make an announcement about his next role in the coming weeks.

Ebeid joined the broadcasted in June 2011 as managing director, with the company saying he has since “led the organisation through a period of immense transformation, growth and achievement”.

“He has led organisational strategies and introduced new initiatives which have led to more Australians engaging with SBS than ever before,” a statement from SBS said. “These strategies ensure the organisation is well-equipped to deliver on the responsibilities of the SBS Charter, with programs and services which are relevant to an increasingly diverse Australian society, in a tough environment for media operators.”

Ebeid said the decision to step down was one of the toughest he’d ever had to make.

“Serving as 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,” he said.

In addition, he said, SBS was as strong as it had ever been.

“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.

“We have been through a lot of change over the past seven years and our successes have only been achievable with the support of the SBS board of directors, our SBS executive team and, of course, our dedicated SBS employees. The SBS team is the most passionate and committed that I’ve worked with in my 30-year career. Our people come to work every day motivated to make an impact and I’ve learned a lot from them during my tenure.”

The company paid tribute to Ebeid and his achievements, saying he helped the network arrest its declining television audiences to achieve seven years of continuous growth and contending SBS is now regularly considered among the most trusted and impartial news sources.

In addition, SBS noted achievements including the launch of SBS On Demand in late 2011, saying it had transformed the network, in addition to the launch of NITV, SBS Food Network and SBS Viceland.

He now stands as the longest-serving managing director of SBS, which is testament to his dedication, chairman of the SBS board of directors, Dr Bulent Hass Dellal said.

“Whilst we are very disappointed that Michael is leaving us, there is no doubt that he departs an organisation 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,” Dellal said.

“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.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.