BBC Worldwide has announced that chief executive officer John Smith will step down after eight years at the helm. Tim Davie, currently director of BBC audio and music, will step in to lead the media company’s commercial division.
Smith, who is leaving BBC to pursue new opportunities in the commercial sector, turned “Doctor Who,” “Top Gear” and “Dancing With The Stars” into global franchises. During his time with the company, BBC Worldwide has become the world’s largest owner of TV channels and the largest TV distributor outside of U.S. companies, making £155 million in profits in the last financial year.
“It has been a huge privilege to lead this powerful business, owned by the BBC, that does so much to supplement the license fee income and takes the BBC brand to audiences around the world,” says Smith. “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved over the last eight years, but I am excited to be moving on to new opportunities in the commercial world as our revenue and profits reach record highs.”
Smith’s replacement, Tim Davie, has been the BBC’s director of audio and music since 2008. Before that he was director of the BBC's marketing, communications and audiences division and vice president of marketing and franchise at PepsiCo Europe, where he managed business franchises across 10 international markets and oversaw global brand marketing outside North America.
“Tim has done an excellent job leading the BBC audio and music division and has a fantastic vision for the opportunities that lie ahead for BBC Worldwide,” says George Entwistle, director-general, BBC. “Building on John’s success Tim will now take the BBC’s commercial arm into the next chapter of its development. I am delighted he will be joining the team at this crucial time.”