Banijay UK hires BBC’s Sarb Nijjer to new COO role, working across M&A & start-ups

Banijay UK has hired the finance director for BBC content as its new COO, with a remit that includes working across future M&A and start-up ventures.

Sarb Nijjer will be responsible for driving the group’s UK strategy alongside CEO Patrick Holland, while also managing collaborations across the wider Banijay group, developing business relationships with key customers, and working with the 27 production companies in the local footprint.

She takes up the newly-created role having most recently been finance director for BBC content, where she worked across spending on network TV, iPlayer, Sport, Children’s & Education and Audio and Sounds.

Rogue Heroes

Her appointment completes Banijay UK’s top executive team, which includes director of HR & operations Bella Lambourne, CFO Derek O’Gara and General Counsel Jacqueline Moreton.

Banijay has been expanding in the UK over the past year, launching the Banijay UK Growth Fund and acquiring drama company, Mam Tor.

It is behind a raft of shows including reboots of Big Brother and Deal or No Deal for ITV, as well as Survivor and SAS Rogue Heroes S2 for BBC One.

Banijay UK CEO, Patrick Holland, said: “In the COO, I wanted a senior business leader to help drive the strategy, growth and collaboration needed to take the UK group to the next level.

“Sarb has an exceptional business brain, has shown terrific leadership at the BBC (where she helped keep the channels vibrant during Covid), possesses exciting entrepreneurial instincts, and perhaps, most importantly, understands the nuances of the development process and how to support creatives. She’s also a delightful human being and we are really looking forward to her joining a great senior team at Banijay UK.”

Nijjer added that she would “drive innovation and growth” across the UK business.

“Entrepreneurialism runs strong through the group’s production community and I’m excited about the future opportunities with partners and key talent across our industry that are likely to arise as a result. I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved as a team in BBC Content over the last five years, and it’s been an honour and a privilege to have worked for such a world-class creative business.”

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