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Virgin Media chief Burch resigns
21 Aug 2007 14:25 BST

Virgin Media chief executive Steve Burch has resigned with immediate effect, the cable broadcaster has said.

The firm said Mr Burch had resigned for personal reasons and a search for his replacement would begin immediately.

Virgin added that chief operating officer Neil Berkett would take on the role until a replacement was found.

Mr Burch led the firm as it was formed by the merger of NTL and Telewest, and through the takeover of Virgin Mobile and subsequent rebranding.

The company was relaunched with great fanfare in February as the UK's first "quadruple play" service, offering mobile phone, fixed-line phone, Internet broadband and TV services.

However, it has been struggling in the face of tough competition from rival satellite broadcaster BSkyB - as well as a very public spat about charges with Sky - and a drop in some customer numbers.

In July, Virgin Media began a review of its business, after receiving a £5.5bn offer from an unnamed bidder.

"Steve has contributed significantly to the transformation of Virgin Media," said chairman Jim Moody.

"Since he joined us, the company has emerged as the UK's only 'quad play' provider and a genuinely distinctive presence in the world of communications and entertainment.

"On behalf of Virgin Media's Board of Directors, I thank him for his contribution to our development and wish him every success for the future," he added.

According to a company statement Mr Burch, who has been at the company since 2006, will be returning to the US for "family and personal reasons".