14.49 Europe/London, July 25, 2011 By Julian Clover

Dr Abe Peled is to become the executive chairman of NDS, leaving his CEO role in the hands of Dave Habiger, the former CEO of internet movie distribution company Sonic Solutions.

A statement from the News Corp/Permira technology company emphasized that the role of executive chairman was a full time position. 65-year old Dr Peled had previously held the dual role of chairman and CEO.

Dr Peled’s replacement as CEO is the 42-year old Dave Habiger. He worked with the founders of Sonic Solutions ahead of the company’s IPO in 1994. As President and COO Habiger was responsible for the company’s global software development team. Significantly, Habiger took Sonic from the DVD distribution to internet delivery of movies and TV shows, establishing a leadership role as one of the largest global providers of premium movies and TV shows via the Web and consumer electronic devices. He then led the sale of the company to Rovi Corporation in early 2011.

“After 16 rewarding years at the helm of NDS, the time has come to start the transition to the leadership that will take NDS forward over the next decade and beyond,” said Dr Peled. “NDS has a strong and experienced management team, and an unparalleled cadre of talented and dedicated employees with a proven track record in pay-TV; it has been a privilege to work with them to establish NDS as the market leader in this area. Dave brings to NDS experience as a CEO, and a passion and record of accomplishment in the areas of new media and web delivery that will be increasingly important to NDS and its customers over the next decade. I remain committed to the continuing long term success of NDS.”

Dr Peled will now focus on strategic and operational support, while maintaining customer relationship continuity.

Habiger said the industry was going through a period significant change as it moved towards over-the-top delivery. “I am convinced that NDS is uniquely positioned to offer the technologies and solutions that make content easily accessible to consumers and valuable to service providers. I am honoured to be working with the largest and finest research, development, and delivery teams in the industry and with a management team that has helped define the industry since the early 1990s.”

Earlier this month it emerged that Permira, the controlling shareholder in NDS, is in the early stages of an IPO that would see the News Corp technology company return to the stock market.