FremantleMedia Enterprises Asia Pacific CEO to lead BBC commercial arm’s increased focus on Australasian region
BBC Worldwide today announced that Jon Penn, currently CEO Asia Pacific, FremantleMedia Enterprises, is to take up the new role of MD, BBC Worldwide Australasia in April.
Jon succeeds former General Manager Tony Iffland and interim leader Blair McQuade, but will see his responsibilities broadened to include ownership of the region’s P&L under BBC Worldwide’s new Balanced Regionalisation plans, which aims to significantly increase revenue in the territory within the next five years. He will report directly to Marcus Arthur, BBC Worldwide’s President of the UK and Australasia, who is based in London.
Also being announced today is BBC Worldwide Australasia’s interim General Manager Blair McQuade’s appointment as Chief Commercial Officer for Australasia, a new role supporting Jon, which will see him take responsibility for the commercial activities across the business.
Australia and New Zealand are hugely important markets for BBC Worldwide and both have seen significant growth over the last five years, across all five areas of business: channels; sales and distribution; content and production; consumer products; and global brands. BBC Worldwide’s strategic aim to increase its regional focus, which will begin on April 2nd next, will enable the company to maximise growth across all platforms in the local market. In 2011/12, BBC Worldwide Australasia increased revenue by 9% on the previous year, generating $140m. Recent new business success stories include the launch of the global BBC iPlayer pilot in Australia, where it is the most successful territory, and the growth of live events, with 100,000 people expected to attend one of five live events in the year.
Jon has extensive P&L and commercial and digital media experience, as well as strong contacts in the Australasian TV, licensing and live entertainment industries. His track record in areas directly relevant to BBC Worldwide, including TV sales and distribution, brand licensing, live events, digital and home entertainment, is enviable.
Jon founded FremantleMedia Enterprises’ brand licensing and interactive media division in Australia in 2001 and his responsibilities later expanded to include the rest of Asia Pacific. He was particularly instrumental in turning MasterChef Australia into a multi-million dollar, multi-platform brand over three years and his career has seen him launch new business enterprises across both traditional and digital media platforms, delivering overall revenue growth for FremantleMedia Enterprises in the Asia Pacific region.
Promoted to CEO FremantleMedia Enterprises Asia Pacific in 2009, he added TV distribution, home entertainment and live events to his responsibilities and led the team who has built multi-platform brand franchises out of The X Factor, QI, Grand Designs and Merlin, amongst many marquee TV properties.
Prior to FremantleMedia Enterprises, Jon worked for Fairfax Media’s digital division – Fairfax Digital - and has held a variety of sales, marketing and business development roles over his 22 year career.
Jon holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales, and also acts as a non-executive director of The Smile Foundation.
Marcus Arthur, BBC Worldwide’s President of the UK and Australasia, said: “I’m really pleased that Jon has decided to take up our challenge as MD of Australasia, a role that will have increased responsibility in BBC Worldwide’s new organisational structure. His strategic influence across so many platforms, properties and brands at FremantleMedia is impressive, not least because of the outstanding commercial growth he’s drawn from them. I know he’s the right person to lead BBC Worldwide Australasia on to bigger and even better things as the region takes charge of its own P&L for the first time.”
Jon Penn, newly appointed MD of BBC Worldwide Australasia said: “I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to guide BBC Worldwide Australasia through such a pivotal point in its history. I have nothing but admiration for the business and I look forward to building upon the huge success already achieved by its talented workforce and building upon Blair’s brilliant leadership since Tony Iffland departed.”
For more information, please contact: Laura Dumbrell, Head of Communications at BBC Worldwide Australasia, on +61 (0)2 9744 4502/4507 or +61 (0)412 456604, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About BBC Worldwide Australasia
Australia is a priority territory for BBC Worldwide, focusing on growth across all five of its core businesses. In 2011/12, BBC Worldwide Australasia increased revenue by 9% on the previous year, generating AUS$140m. Based in Macquarie Park, Sydney, BBC Worldwide Australasia wholly owns five channels; UKTV, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies in Australia; UKTV and BBC Knowledge in New Zealand; and is responsible for the distribution and promotion of BBC World News which transmits in both countries. It distributes great British content from the BBC and other producers to all free-to-air and most subscription channels in Australia and New Zealand. BBC Worldwide Australasia works with partners to bring BBC Worldwide DVDs, magazines, digital apps, innovative products and live events to the local market, as well as offering advertising opportunities for the BBC’s world renowned bbc.com news site and lonelyplanet.com. Australia is the most successful territory for the global BBC iPlayer.
About BBC Worldwide Ltd.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to exploit the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products and Global Brands. In 2011/12, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £155 million on headline sales of £1085 million and returned £216 million to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: http://www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview
His strategic influence across so many platforms, properties and brands at FremantleMedia is impressive, not least because of the outstanding commercial growth he’s drawn from them. I know he’s the right person to lead BBC Worldwide Australasia on to bigger and even better things as the region takes charge of its own P&L for the first time.”