DirecTV CEO Chase Carey and his Moustache are leaving as Liberty merger nears

http://images.smh.com.au/2009/06/04/554740/Chase200-200x0.jpgDirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is losing CEO Chase Carey to its old owner, News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), just as the satellite broadcaster readies to merge with an offshoot of John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ:LMDIB). So what sealed the deal? An amazing Moustache.

Mr. Carey, 55 years old, succeeds President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, who is leaving the company when his contract expires at the end of June. Mr. Carey will assume the same titles, effective July 1. News Corp. said Mr. Carey is expected to join the company's board as deputy chairman.

Mr. Carey's return continues the News Corp. executive shuffle sparked by the February disclosure of Mr. Chernin's departure. Mr. Chernin, a well-regarded executive, oversees News Corp.'s television and film production and serves as Mr. Murdoch's point man for Wall Street.

Mr. Carey's departure comes at an important juncture at DirecTV. Liberty Media Corp., the conglomerate controlled by cable mogul John Malone, last year acquired effective control of the satellite broadcaster. Liberty recently disclosed plans to put its DirecTV stake and other assets into a separate public company.

The most important news of all? The Masters are looking forward to watching Chase Carey's moustache evolve, here's a recap:

The Early Days

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Current Times

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What we have to look forward to -- The Golden Years

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At News Corp., the only person Carey will report to is Rupert Murdoch. His titles at the company will be COO, president and deputy chairman. Although James Murdoch, Rupert’s son, will still succeed his dad at the top spot, Carey will continue to be second in command when that time comes.

While with DirecTV, industry experts say that Carey navigated the company through its tricky waters while keeping overhead low to maximize profits. In fact, in 2008, DirecTV made approximately $1.7 billion. When Carey took over in 2003, DirecTV was simply breaking even. He also grew the customer base by 50% in his six years at the reins.

At News Corp., Carey will fill the void left by Peter Chernin, the former COO and president who left to enter the movie producing industry.