Peter Salmon is leaving BBC Studios to become chief creative officer of Endemol Shine Group.
He will in part replace the outgoing Endemol Shine president Tim Hincks, who has been the group’s creative chief since its creation at the end of 2014.
Salmon’s appointment comes as Big Brother and Masterchef owner Endemol Shine also drafts in former News UK general counsel Emma Moloney to take the same job at the production-distribution super-indie, and as Endemol Shine Netherlands CEO Boudewijn Beusmans adds the role of executive VP, group, to his duties.
The news comes as a surprise to the formats industry, as Salmon was only last July named as founding director of BBC Studios, the new production arm of UK pubcaster the BBC.
BBC Studios has been billed as one of the biggest shake-ups of the BBC’s history, as it is planned as a commercial division that will compete to produce programming not only in-house, but also for rival UK broadcasters.
At Endemol Shine, Salmon will work closely with Endemol Shine UK CEO Richard Johnson and COO Lucinda Hicks, and will have oversight of the entire UK business. He will also lead Endemol Shine’s worldwide creative network, which comprises 120 prodcos in more than 30 markets, and more than 600 revenue-generating titles.
Endemol Shine wants him to “champion ideas and further accelerate the rollout of content internationally across linear and digital platforms”, with the Endemol Shine Creative Networks unit, which Lisa Perrin leads, now reporting into him.
Before his time at BBC Studios, Salmon was founder of the 3,000-strong BBC North production base near Manchester, and was director of BBC England.
He has also been controller of BBC One, chief creative officer of former BBC in-house unit BBC Vision and worked in senior commissioning and programming roles at Channel 4 and Granada Television. He was also CEO of Tinopolis predecessor The Television Corporation.
“I know that this job at Endemol Shine is one that Peter felt he couldn’t turn down,” said the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall. “He has been a great servant of the BBC and I am sure he will be hugely successful in his new role.”
Salmon, a co-inventor of charity gala programme Sport Relief, said he was leaving the BBC with “a mixture of excitement and sadness” having helped BBC Studios “successfully through this first phase”.
He will work with the BBC to find a successor over “the next couple of months to ensure there are strong foundations and a thorough handover”. Salmon is contracted until May 31.
The BBC said his replacement at BBC Studios would be announced in “coming weeks”.
“The opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s most creative and prolific talent, both in the UK and internationally across Endemol Shine Group, was simply irresistible,” said Salmon. “I’ve already had the privilege of working with many of the production companies under the Endemol Shine umbrella in the UK and I’m a great admirer of shows created by the group globally.”
Endemol Shine CEO Sophie Turner Laing, to whom Salmon will report, said his “profound understanding of the creative process and respect for talent” would be “invaluable”.
Moloney, meanwhile, has been handed control of the group’s legal affairs team, and will oversee distribution operations, working closely with Endemol Shine International CEO Cathy Payne. Besides working for News UK, whose owner Rupert Murdoch is a significant shareholder in Endemol Shine, she has worked for European paycaster Sky and National Geographic Channel.
She begins her new role this month, reporting to Turner Laing.
Beusmans’ new international role will see him advising on areas such as partnerships, talent deals, governance and strategy.
He was named co-chief executive of Endemol Shine Netherlands, along with Iris Boelhouwer, in October last year. Before that he was group chief commercial officer.
“These appointments cement a world class executive team to take us into our second year as a group,” said Turner Laing. “The wealth of expertise that Emma brings will be an enormous asset to the group, as will Boudewijn’s extensive experience and knowledge. I’m thrilled to have them and Peter taking these key executive roles and adding further strength and leadership to our senior team.”