BBC Worldwide Names Helen Jackson Chief Content Officer

Courtesy of BBC

The U.K. public broadcaster's commercial arm shakes up management and divisions as president and managing director Steve Macallister exits.

LONDON – BBC Worldwide has appointed Helen Jackson as its chief content officer amid a management shakeup that sees the president and managing director, Steve Macallister quit the public broadcaster's commercial operation.

BBC Worldwide said Tuesday (Dec. 18) it is to revamp its executive structure as part of a major re-jigg at the company and will recruit a director of operations and a chief brands officer amid the changes.

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It follows BBC Worldwide's proposals in June this year to reconfigure the business from divisional to geographic lines of management.

The three global divisions of consumer products, channels, and sales & distribution will cease to exist in their current formats, and the profit and loss totals for these divisions are moving to regions.

At the same time core global business functions will be established, such as content and brands, with the aim of setting "strategic framework and parameters for the sales activities within the regions."

Jackson, currently managing director of content & production, is elevated to the role of chief content officer where she will be charged with overseeing the creative and commercial vision for BBC Worldwide content strategy.

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Jackson will also cover BBC Worldwide content development and acquisition activity, channels' curation and editorial standards.

BBC Worldwide said it has shelved plans to create a chief sales officer role as the selling jobs will be "devolved to the regions."

Alongside this, the structure has been simplified so that responsibility for Western Europe will now become part of a wider European territory, under Global Markets, "allowing better integration and co-ordination across the continent."

Macallister is leaving the company as a result of the changes having joined in 2007.

Mcallister led the sales and distribution division to record growth delivering $117 million (£72.3 million) in profits and headline sales of $474 million (£292.7 million) in the last financial year helping to establish BBC Worldwide as the world's biggest exporter of television programs outside the United States.

BBC Worldwide interim CEO Paul Dempsey said: "We are entering a new era for BBC Worldwide with an exciting array of opportunities for growth, both in mature and emerging markets, as well as in the explosion of digital routes to market. The changes we are introducing will put us on track for even greater success."

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Dempsey is standing in for designated CEO Tim Davie, who is currently interim director general of the BBC.

BBC Worldwide sales hit $211 million (£135.5 million) in the financial year ending 2012, up 31.8 percent from $160.1 million (£102.8 million) the previous year.

The Americas contributed $178 million (£114.3 million) to the sales figures in the accounting period 2011/12, up from $123.3 million (£79.2 million).

The company’s reorganization will take effect from April 2, 2013.