BBC Studios appoints Australia chief to head new Asia-Pac division

Jon Penn

BBC Studios (BBCS) has created a new Asia-Pacific business that will be headed up by former Australia & New Zealand boss Jon Penn, with the company’s former acting chief for Asia departing.

Jon Penn has been appointed exec VP of APAC, which will bring together the public broadcaster’s commercial operations across Asia with its activities in Australia and New Zealand.

The business will comprise BBCS’s international sales and distribution business and comes after the departure of Myleeta Aga, who had been acting EVP, Asia. Aga took up the role after former regional chief David Weiland returned to the UK to start a new role focused on the company’s working culture.

Last month, BBCS revealed it was bringing its international sales and distribution business into a single global group with long-serving exec Paul Dempsey overseeing the newly created division. Those changes came into effect at the start of September.

In his new role, Penn will continue to report to Dempsey, whose other global reports include: Nigel Gaines, who took interim charge over the Americas after Ann Sarnoff joined Warner Bros; Nick Percy, exec VP of Western Europe; and Grant Welland, exec VP of CEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa).

“Jon’s ability and experience makes him ideally suited to extend his remit across our successful Asia business,” Dempsey said. “He has overseen an impressive growth story in Australia and New Zealand and this is a great opportunity to bring our fast growing Asia business into a formidable APAC region.”

Penn said: “Having spent many years working throughout the region, I’m thrilled to be offered the opportunity to bring the ANZ and Asia teams together for the first time. We will continue to bring the very best of the BBC’s world-class content to customers throughout Asia Pacific.”

Prior to his tenure as BBCS’s MD of Australia and New Zealand, Penn spent four years as CEO in Asia-Pacific for Fremantle’s International distribution division.