Penn preps BBC Worldwide for growth

Penn preps BBC Worldwide for growth

The new MD of BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, Jon Penn, has instigated a wave of strategic staffing changes as he primes the company for growth.

Penn, former CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises Asia Pacific – FremantleMedia’s licensing and distribution arm – took over from Tony Iffland in January following Iffland’s departure to SBS as director of content.  

Director of channels and branded services Deirdre Brennan is to become the director of content, taking responsibility for content management and development in the region. In this new role, she will oversee format production, drama investment and the editorial delivery of the ANZ channels.

Blair McQuade, who until recently was the acting GM of BBC Worldwide ANZ, has taken on the new role of chief commercial officer.  As CCO, Blair will oversee strategy and corporate development, finance and operations. Blair’s role will also manage the TV Sales business distributing programming to FTA, STV and digital platforms.

Irene Read has been promoted to head of sales at BBC Worldwide ANZ, leading the team that licenses all TV programming and news in Australia and New Zealand on a daily basis, reporting to Blair McQuade in this role. 

Rob Leach will become digital and business development director with an expanded remit overseeing commercial digital, brand licensing and new business lines.  Rob has recently taken on responsibility for the licensing of BBC Worldwide’s brands in Australia and New Zealand, notably live events, consumer products and DVDs. He is also responsible for BBC World News and the relationship with MCN.

Completing the Executive Leadership Team for BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand are Melissa Madden as director of brands and marketing, Laura Dumbrell, head of communications, Fiona Lang, head of business and legal affairs and Ian Posthumus, head of HR.

Penn said: “As BBC Worldwide looks to grow its business outside the UK, placing more autonomy in this territory’s hands, there is a fantastic opportunity for growth.  I am confident that I have put the best team and structure in place to deliver this growth in the areas that have the most potential – content, brands and digital – with a strong strategic and visionary team behind it.’


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