The BBC has named Sir Damon Buffini as chairman of a new-look commercial board that will include a majority of external non-executive directors for the first time.
The appointments to the board, which oversees BBC Studios and BBC Studioworks, come as the pubcaster attempts to ramp up its commercial activities as one of four strategic priorities set by director-general Tim Davie.
Buffini, founding partner of investment outfit Permira, will chair the re-named BBC Commercial Board, formerly known as the BBC Commercial Holdings Board, from April 1.
Current non-executive directors Dame Elan Closs Stephens, former Sky plc chief commercial officer and chief strategy officer Mai Fyfield and All3Media co-founder and former chairman Steve Morrison will be joined by newly appointed non-executive directors Bhav Singh and Gunjan Bhow.
Singh has led and scaled businesses internationally for ViacomCBS and Pearson and is now the founder and group CEO of the digital learning group Sandbox & Co. Bhow was most recently global chief digital officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance and has held senior leadership roles at The Walt Disney Studios and Amazon Prime Video.
The three executive directors on the BBC Commercial Board will be Leigh Tavaziva, group chief operating officer of the BBC, Tom Fussell, CEO of BBC Studios and Lorraine Burgess, CFO of BBC Studios.
Buffini said: “BBC Studios has an impressive track record for creativity and business within the creative industries and the new board arrangements are a significant step to enhancing this further, both in the UK and globally. I am delighted to welcome Gunjan and Bhav as new directors to the BBC Commercial Board. Gunjan’s experience of digital leadership and transformation and Bhav’s in-depth knowledge of consumer products and technology will be invaluable for the BBC’s next chapter of commercial ambition and growth. Serving alongside Elan, Mai and Steve, Bhav and Gunjan complete a compelling non-executive bench.”
Richard Sharp, BBC chairman, said: “Building the BBC’s commercial income is an essential part of providing brilliant programmes and services in the future. Through these changes we are harnessing increased external and independent expertise to support that aim and I’m delighted that Sir Damon Buffini has agreed to chair the new Board.”
Tim Davie said: “We have ambitious growth plans for BBC Studios to increase financial returns very significantly.The new BBC Commercial Board brings further external insight to our commercial operation as we accelerate growth and, in turn, ensure the BBC can maximise value for licence fee payers.”