Star Group, the satellite broadcaster owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, has appointed former investment banker Paul Aiello as its chief executive with effect from March. The news came as Michelle Guthrie resigned as chief executive yesterday for personal reasons, after serving Star for six years. Industry watchers believe the new appointment may lead to more acquisitions by the company in the region, although it is unlikely to have any affect on Star's exposure in the China market. Dr Aiello joined Star last June as president. He is responsible for corporate development and various overseas joint ventures. Before joining Star, he was head of Morgan Stanley's telecoms, media and technology group in the Asia-Pacific region. He provided strategic and investment advice to Star for more than five years. 'Mr Aiello's knowledge of the diverse and complex media and telecoms industries in Asia makes him the ideal candidate to steer the long-term growth of the company,' Mr Murdoch said in a press release yesterday, while also thanking Ms Guthrie for her contributions to the company. An industry source said: 'It would be positive news for Mr Aiello to assume the helm; his background as an investment banker should help to co-ordinate the whole Star Group for better development in the future.' Another source believed Dr Aiello might arrange for Star to take its shares public in the future. The source said the new appointment might not have much impact on Star's mainland business, which was likely to be more independent of the parent and managed by local talent in the future, as indicated by the appointment of Jack Gao as chief executive of Star China last year. Mr Gao has also been appointed a vice-president of News Corp and will assume the position of chief representative of the company's Beijing representative office, responsible for running its mainland activities. Star has made little headway in developing the China market in the past few years, as Beijing tightened regulatory control over foreign broadcasters. Ms Guthrie told mainland media recently that the company's profitable Indian business was helping to support the loss-making China business.