Simon Shaps, the former director of television at British broadcaster ITV, has been appointed chairman of UK-based documentary distributor MercuryMedia.

He will take up the newly-created position in January next year. The company’s board already includes chief executive Tim Sparke, who founded MercuryMedia in 2000 and Nick Ware, managing director of MercuryMedia’s video-on-demand channel

Shaps (pictured) left ITV in May last year after three years in the role. He was previously chief executive of ITV’s global production and distribution business. He has been working with a number of media companies since leaving the broadcaster.

Sparke said: ‘To have someone of Simon’s calibre join Mercury is a coup for a growing digital film distribution company.”

Shaps added: ‘Tim and the team have done an impressive job in creating one of the very few VOD businesses that is up and running with paying customers. I am genuinely excited by the potential of and Mercury.”