BBC Studios merges APAC & EMEA, with Nick Percy named president

Nick Percy

BBC Studios (BBCS) is to consolidate its APAC and EMEA distribution regions into a single business, with Nick Percy taking control and Jon Penn set to step down.

Percy, who has led the EMEA region since April 2020, will be based in the UK and become president of the new global markets division from 31 January 2022, while Penn, currently EVP of APAC, will leave his role following the transition.

BBCS said Penn had ruled himself out of applying for the position, but would remain with the company next year to work on ‘central projects’, as well as helping with the transition.

Jon Penn

Structure & reports

BBCS said the creation of the global markets division had concluded “a period of internal consolidation” at the organisation, which has been restructuring its regional businesses over the past two years amid the rise of streamers.

The global markets arm will join the Americas and the UK as the third regional business for BBCS, with the rejig aimed at simplifying decision-making across territories and between all lines of business.

It has seen former Awesomeness exec Rebecca Glashow appointed to lead the Americas, while Marcus Arthur is president of BBC Studios UK & Ireland. BBCS also brought its international sales and distribution business into a single global group, with long-serving exec Paul Dempsey leading.

Once the global markets division launches next year, Percy’s reports will include regional commercial leads Phil Hardman (GM & SVP Asia), Natasha Hussain (SVP MENA), Ding Ke (GM Greater China), Fiona Lang (GM ANZ), Salim Mukaddam (SVP Content Sales Markets EMEA) and Arran Tindall (SVP Key Markets EMEA).

Prior to leading EMEA, Percy – who has been with BBCS since 2010 – had been EVP for EMEA, EVP for Western Europe, VP & GM for Central and Eastern Europe, and director of business development & digital.

Prior to this, he held a number of strategy roles in government and commercial companies, including McKinsey & Company and Diageo. He has also previously lived in Australia and worked on projects in APAC.

Penn, meanwhile, had been in his role since 2019 following the creation of a then-new Asia-Pacific business. Before that, he had headed up BBCS’s Australia and New Zealand interests.

Paul Dempsey

Paul Dempsey, president of global distribution, described Percy as “a strategic and talented leader who understands the complexities of the Global Markets regions and the focus for BBC Studios moving forward.”

Dempsey also praised Penn’s tenure, during which he oversaw the launch of BBC First, BBC Earth, Britbox and a production arm in Australia. He also worked on the growth of kids animation Bluey and struck “multimillion dollar framework deals” in China.

Penn said: “I’ve loved my time leading the APAC region and before that, setting up and growing the ANZ regional business. It’s been a part of my career that I’m very proud of, but now I’m ready for my next challenge and can do this in the knowledge that the business and team is in very safe hands.”

Percy added: “Having represented both APAC and EMEA in some of our global deals, I understand the value in merging these two regions in to one powerful team with oversight of the whole business.

“There will be many benefits, as well as trade-offs to be made, over the next few years, as we invest in our branded services, balance our global and regional deals, offer more in direct-to-consumer and ramp up our digital deals.”

Earlier this month, BBCS ended its long-running search for a new CEO by naming interim chief Tom Fussell to the role.

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