BBC Worldwide announces new People Director

Deborah has brought both professional expertise and strong leadership to her accountabilities and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Deborah for her contribution to the future of the company.”Paul Dempsey
Date: 25.01.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.12
Category: BBC Worldwide
• Deborah Rowland to leave after two years leading HR, Technology and Property at the BBC’s commercial arm
• Kirstin Furber appointed People Director

Click to tweet: BBC Worldwide announces new People Director via @BBCWpress

BBC Worldwide has today announced that Deborah Rowland, People Director, BBC Worldwide, has decided to leave the business after two years leading the HR, Technology and Property divisions at the BBC’s commercial arm. Deborah will be succeeded by Kirstin Furber – formerly SVP Human Resources, BBC Worldwide - who will take over Human Resources responsibilities for the 2500-strong business.

Deborah joined BBC Worldwide in August 2011 with the key mandate of reshaping the BBC Worldwide organisation for its next phase of growth. Over the last 18 months she has championed a comprehensive process with internal stakeholders to design the Balanced Regionalisation organisation.

Deborah’s decision to leave follows the announcement, as part of the reorganisation of the company, that Technology and Property will move into a new Director of Operations directorate, making the People Director solely focussed on HR.  Deborah will remain with BBC Worldwide until July, working closely with Paul Dempsey and incoming CEO Tim Davie to ensure the new organisation is effectively implemented.

Talking of her pending departure Deborah said: "I have enjoyed my time with BBC Worldwide enormously. It's a tremendous company, with the full backing of the BBC, and I am glad that my incoming mission to help transform it for future growth is coming to fruition."

Paying tribute to Deborah, Paul Dempsey said: “Managing the Balanced Regionalisation change plan has challenged us to re-imagine not just our organisation structure, but also our business systems and processes, the technology strategy and platforms required, our culture, and last but not least the vision for our new UK home at Television Centre. Deborah has brought both professional expertise and strong leadership to her accountabilities and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Deborah for her contribution to the future of the company.”

Kirstin Furber, previously SVP Human Resources, will step up to take on Deborah’s HR responsibilities with immediate effect. She will join the BBC Worldwide Executive and report directly to Interim CEO Paul Dempsey. Kirstin has worked at BBC Worldwide for over two years and has also held senior HR positions at 20th Century Fox, Discovery Channel and Warner Bros. Previously Kirstin held the role of Executive HR Director at 20th Century Fox, spent seven years at Discovery Channel where she was the VP of HR International and has held HR positions at Ziff Davis, Warner Bros and Granada Media Group.

Kirstin said: “I am thrilled to be taking on this role at this exciting time for BBC Worldwide and working with such talented people.”

Commenting on Kirstin’s appointment, Paul Dempsey said: “Kirstin has been our SVP, Human Resources for BBC Worldwide since September 2011 and in that time has successfully created a global HR team aligned on a single people strategy and plan, and established excellent relationships with staff across all areas of the business. She has also been instrumental in the design and resourcing of our new organisation and is a talented and natural choice to now take the People Director role on the BBC Worldwide Executive.”

BBC Worldwide’s Technology and Property divisions will be temporarily overseen by Martyn Freeman, General Counsel, until a Director of Operations is appointed.

For more information, please contact:


Kath Grimes: 020 8433 2506

Lucy Philippson: 020 8433 2687



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. 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: