BBC Studios appoints interim CEO ahead of Tim Davie departure

Tom Fussell

BBC Studios (BBCS) has appointed its CFO Tom Fussell to become interim CEO from 1 September, when Tim Davie becomes BBC director-general.

Fussell will lead BBCS on a temporary basis until the next CEO is installed, with the UK public broadcaster’s commercial arm currently in a recruitment drive for candidates.

He has been CFO since 2018, having previously held the same role at BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) prior to its merger with BBCS. Fussell, who before that worked at UK production group Shine, is also chair of BBC StudioWorks and has responsibility for BBCS property, facilities and technology divisions.

He has also worked in commercial roles at Harper Collins UK and been finance director of Random House UK, having spent a decade in BBC finance roles, including at what was then BBC Production.

Davie, who secured the top at the BBC earlier this year, said: “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 programmes 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.”

Fussell added: “BBC Studios has a clear plan in place to drive creative hits, build stronger services and partner with major customers. 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.”

An appointment for Davie’s full-time replacement is due to be made this autumn, with names including BBCS’s UK chief Marcus Arthur, All3Media CEO Jane Turton and former Endemol Shine Group chief Sophie Turner-Laing among those expected to be in the race.

Sonia Magris, group finance director, will take on Fussell’s finance responsibilities at BBCS and become a member of the company’s executive committee during his interim role. Fussell remains chair of StudioWorks.

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