BBC Studios has named chief financial officer Tom Fussell as the production and distribution company’s interim CEO, effective Sept. 1.
Fussell will lead the BBC’s commercial arm on a temporary basis, replacing current CEO Tim Davie, who is to become BBC’s director-general, until the studio appoints a permanent CEO.
BBC Studios has initiated an open recruitment process for Davie’s replacement, and a hiring announcement is anticipated to be made in the fall.
Fussell, who remains chair of StudioWorks, has served as BBC Studios’ CFO since it was founded during the BBC Worldwide merger in 2018 to form one commercial organization. As CFO, he also has responsibility for BBC Studios Property, Facilities and Technology.
He joined the BBC Worldwide in 2016 as CFO, before serving in a similar role at Shine from 2013 to 2015 — where he successfully completed the sale of the company into a new joint venture, as part of its merger with Endemol.
In addition, Fussell spent a decade in BBC finance roles, including at BBC Production, before working in commercial roles at Harper Collins UK and as finance director of Random House UK.
Group finance director Sonia Magris, meanwhile, will take on Fussell’s financial duties within the BBC Studios and becomes a member of the BBC Studios executive committee for the duration of Fussell’s interim appointment.
“BBC Studios is in good hands with Tom as interim CEO, supported by the BBC Studios executive team,” said Davie in a statement. “Tom will ensure that Studios continues to manage through the COVID-19 crisis, putting wellbeing first, while doing all it can to create and distribute distinctive and quality programs for our audiences at home and overseas. He is hugely liked and respected, and I am grateful he will lead the team while we search for a permanent CEO.”
“BBC Studios has a clear plan in place to drive creative hits, build stronger services and partner with major customers,” Fussell added. “These priorities will guide us as we navigate the very real challenges of COVID-19. As interim CEO, I will be working with the full BBC Studios team to come safely out of pause and to move our business plans on. I look forward to working closely with Tim’s successor when they take over as CEO.”