BBC Worldwide Poaches Jon Penn from Fremantle to Lead Australasian Unit

The former Fremantle APAC CEO will lead the U.K. public broadcaster's commercial business in the region.

LONDON -- BBC Worldwide, the public broadcaster's commercial division, has lured Jon Penn from FremantleMedia Enterprises to be BBC Worldwide Australasia managing director.

Penn, currently FremantleMedia Enterprises Asia Pacific CEO, succeeds former general manager Tony Iffland and interim leader Blair McQuade in the BBC role.

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McQuade is elevated to chief commercial officer for Australasia, a newly-created role to support Penn's efforts.

His BBC Worldwide remit will include ownership of the region’s profit and loss under BBC Worldwide’s new balanced structural regionalization plans.

He will report directly to Marcus Arthur, president of BBC Worldwide Global Brands U.K. and Australasia, who is based in London.

Australia and New Zealand are important markets for BBC Worldwide across all five areas of business: channels; sales and distribution; content and production; consumer products; and global brands.

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From 2011 to 2012, BBC Worldwide Australasia increased revenue by nine percent on the previous year, generating $140 million.

Recent business moves include the launch of the global BBC iPlayer pilot in Australia.

Penn is credited with founding FremantleMedia Enterprises’ brand licensing and interactive media division in Australia in 2001, and his responsibilities later expanded to include the rest of Asia Pacific.

Promoted to CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises Asia-Pacific in 2009, he added TV distribution, home entertainment and live events to his responsibilities and led a team that has built multi-platform brand franchises out of TV shows, including The X Factor, QI, Grand Designs and Merlin.