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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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BBC Worldwide Chairman steps down

Etienne de Villiers

The BBC today announced that Etienne de Villiers has decided to step down as Chairman and Non-executive Director of BBC Worldwide effective from 30 September 2009.

Appointed as Chairman of the BBC's Commercial Holdings Board (CHB) in September 2005 with a remit to oversee the growth plans of the BBC's commercial businesses, Etienne took up the role of Chairman and Non-executive Director of BBC Worldwide in January 2006.

During his tenure Etienne oversaw the implementation of the Four Commercial Criteria laid down in the BBC's Royal Charter as well as the introduction of the company's five-year growth strategy in July 2007.

"Under Etienne's stewardship, BBC Worldwide has significantly grown both revenues and profits. The business has expanded internationally and is recognised around the world as a trusted media brand," said Mark Thompson, BBC Director-General.

"His strategic counsel has played an important part in that achievement, which directly benefits UK Licence Fee payers because of the way in which Worldwide's profits are fed back into the BBC's public services."

In July 2009 BBC Worldwide announced revenues exceeding £1billion in its Annual Review of 2008/2009, with total income generated outside the UK increasing to 51.3% (2007/08: 46.6%) and 34% of total revenues coming from businesses created in the last five years.

With 44 wholly-owned or joint venture channels in more than 100 countries, UK-originated content is now available in more than 300 million homes worldwide.

Additionally deals with companies such as YouTube and Apple iTunes have ensured that BBC content is also available to the multi-platform audience.

BBC Worldwide has also exploited the BBC's leading brands – such as Doctor Who, Planet Earth and Top Gear – on a global scale, covering magazines and consumer products (DVDs, music, books, learning and audiobooks).

Etienne de Villiers added: "It has been a great privilege to serve the BBC, a unique and internationally-acclaimed institution and brand.

"I am proud that the wonderful team under John Smith, ably guided by a dedicated board, has to date met and exceeded very ambitious growth and profit targets set four years ago, and in so doing brings enjoyment and edification to millions of viewers around the world."

Etienne will continue to consult for BBC Worldwide during the transition to the new Chairman, using the considerable experience gained from his time at the Walt Disney Company as well as his tenure on both the Carlton Television and ITV plc boards.

During the period 1986 to 2000 he was President of Walt Disney Television International, responsible for all distribution, production and broadcast activities outside the USA; Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company Limited in the UK; and from 1998 was additionally President of Walt Disney International, EMEA.

From 2005, through to the end of last year, he was the Executive Chairman of the ATP World Tour, the men's professional tennis organisation, and served on a number of boards as a non-executive from 2000 onwards (See Note to Editors).

He was also a senior Founder Partner of Englefield Capital, a European mid-market private equity fund established in 2002, and remains involved.

Notes to Editors

Non-Executive Director of Jetix (2004-08); Video Networks (2002-08); ITV plc (2004-07); Canadian Film Center (2005-present); Pi Capital (2003-present).

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