Netflix hires BBC Studios’ Lee-Joe as chief marketing officer

Netflix has hired BBC Studios’ Jackie Lee-Joe as its chief marketing officer.

The Australian exec, who has served as CMO for BBC Studios since 2015, will take over from Kelly Bennett, who is retiring this year after seven years with the streaming giant.

The London-based exec, who has been appointed after a four-month search by the SVOD, is to relocate to Los Angeles and will start the role in September.

Her appointment marks the second high-profile departure from BBC Studios in recent weeks. Ann Sarnoff, president of BBC Studios Americas, was tapped to lead Warner Bros. Entertainment late last month.

At BBC Studios, Lee-Joe oversaw more than 300 global brands and spearheaded the development of new BBC brands.

One example of an initiative overseen by Lee-Joe is the Doctor Who Skype bot, in which users who downloaded the tool via the Skype directory were able to access a six-part Doctor Who experience.

That partnership came off the back of Lee-Joe’s experience at Skype, where she worked for four years, most recently as global director of audience marketing, entertainment partnerships and broadcast media.

Prior to that, she was GM of brand and acquisition marketing and communications at Virgin Mobile, and before that, European marketing director in Carphone Warehouse.

Lee-Joe joins Netflix as the business steadily ramps up its marketing spend. In 2018, it dished out around $2.37bn across the year, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, up from $1.45bn in 2017 and $1.1bn in 2016.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said: “Jackie is a truly original thinker with a wealth of global experience — making her the perfect fit as our next chief marketing officer. I’m excited to work with her in promoting our brand and original programming in new and creative ways to our members all around the world.”

Lee-Joe added: “Netflix is a much-loved and respected brand with audiences globally thanks to its rich and varied original programming. I’m thrilled to be joining one of the most creative, dynamic and fearlessly innovative companies in the world.”

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