As the BBC merges its commercial division BBC Worldwide and its newly independent production unit BBC Studios into one entity, a host of executives have been appointed to the Executive Committee of the new BBC Studios. The new-look company will be formed in April next year with Tom Fussell as Chief Financial Officer; Anna Mallett as Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director for Production; Martyn Freeman as General Counsel and Jabbar Sardar as HR Director. Separtely, Ben Irving has been appointed BBC Drama Commissioning Editor for Wales.
Fussell is currently CFO of BBC Worldwide and will lead the combined BBC Studios finance function including budgeting, reporting, business support and financial controls. Fussell has been CFO for BBC Worldwide since May 2016 and before that was CFO at Shine. Prior to that, he held a variety of BBC finance roles.
Mallett is currently COO for BBC Studios and will be responsible for all operations, including property, workplace, technology, supply chain, Project Management Office, and BBC Group-wide priorities and programs across BBC Studios. As MD, Production, she will have business and operational leadership of all production areas, alongside Chief Creative Officer Mark Linsey, as well as responsibility for international production and formats. Mallett has been with BBC Studios since its inception and has been a driving force behind the transformation from in-house production to a commercial business.
Freeman is currently General Counsel for BBC Worldwide and going forward will serve as the principal legal officer for BBC Studios, responsible for all Business & Legal Affairs activities across the new company. He joined BBCWW in 2002.
Sardar will segue from his current role as HR Director at BBC Studios into the same post for the new company, overseeing all HR activity to support the new BBC Studios’ business strategy. He joined the BBC at the beginning of 2016.
Separately, Irving has been appointed BBC Drama Commissioning Editor for Wales, reporting to Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. Irving will commission a range of drama across all BBC channels, while overseeing the current drama productions from Wales including Doctor Who and Casualty.
As part of his role, he will also be responsible for ensuring that the BBC commissions drama that portrays and represents life in Wales, as part of a slate that reflects the diversity of the British audience.
Upcoming productions on his slate include Giri/Haji [Duty/Shame] by Joe Barton and from Sister Pictures, and His Dark Materials by Jack Thorne from Bad Wolf.
Irving joined BBC Drama Commissioning as Head of Development in May this year. Prior to that he was with David Heyman’s Heyday Films, working across both film and TV projects and also worked at Warner Bros UK.