Jana Bennett is to leave BBC Worldwide following a major restructure of the commercial organisation.

BBCW is shedding its current structure based around five global divisions and instead creating local management structures in seven regions:

  • North America;
  • the UK;
  • Australia/New Zealand;
  • Western Europe;
  • Asia;
  • Latin America;
  • Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The restructure is expected to create more focus on the individual markets, with commercial accountability moving closer to its customers.  

Three global roles are being created to oversee the seven regions, and maintain links with its BBC parent:

  • chief sales officer, responsible for B2B customer relationships and fulfilment;

  • chief brands officer, responsible for the commercial exploitation of BBCW’s flagship channels and programmes;

  • head of content, responsible for acquiring and curating programmes. The exact form of this job is still being decided.

The reorganisation will take effect on 1 October, and Bennett, whose role as president of global networks and Global iPlayer no longer exists, is expected to leave in the autumn.

Good moment

Bennett, who moved from director of Vision at the BBC in February last year, said the change in structure was “a good moment for me to work outside BBCW”.

She said: “Today’s announcement about the new organisation of BBC Worldwide, with regions in future holding P&L responsibility, is an important step in securing the future growth of BBC Worldwide enabling it to compete more effectively in the global market and deliver increasing returns to the BBC.

“I was pleased to have played a significant role in the organisational design process and fully support the changes under John Smith’s leadership.

“However, with the move of P&L responsibility under the new structure, I feel this is a good moment for me to work outside BBC Worldwide.”

New roles

Dan Heaf, chief digital officer at BBCW, will take on her iPlayer responsibilities. He will lead a new consumer digital group, which will span all features on BBC.com, other commercial websites and the business’ games, app and VoD strategy.

Herb Scannell is president of BBCW North America, Paul Dempsey covers BBCW High Growth Markets, Marcus Arthur is BBCW UK & Australia/New Zealand and Steve Macallister is chief sales officer and president of BBCW Western Europe.

They will also report to BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith, alongside the new global roles.

Untapped opportunities

Smith said: “The new organisation is designed to help us capture untapped opportunities for high quality British content and BBC branded services across the world, in order to sustain our track record of strong growth into the future.

“It has been worked out over a number of months, with inputs from across the world, and throughout our company. I believe it will accelerate delivery of our global ambition, and help us drive future growth and returns to the BBC, supplementing the licence fee.”

Smith praised Bennett’s “hugely positive contribution” to BBCW.

“She deserves our gratitude, and leaves us a great legacy to build on,” he added.

“I am sorry to lose someone of her calibre, as we refocus our business on regional opportunities, but I am grateful she will remain with us for a time to deliver a number of strategically important projects across the world.”

This story was originally published on Broadcast.