The organisation’s first CEO will relocate from London to Los Angeles

Incoming BAFTA LA CEO Chantal Rickards will start work on April 14 and reports to the BAFTA LA board.

Rickards has spent the last 27 years in senior positions in television both in channel management and production. Most recently she served as head of programming and branded content at MEC, a division of giant media investor Group M.

Prior to that she was with the BBC as commissioning executive where she was responsible for launching and overseeing original programming for the UKTV lifestyle television channels. 

Rickards began her career in television as a researcher at ITV’s Yorkshire Television where she spent 11 years in entertainment becoming a producer, director and executive producer.

After that she became channel director at Carlton Television’s Taste Network.  Her TV credits include the international formats for Masterchef, Countdown and Through the Keyhole.

“BAFTA Los Angeles is in a growth period, expanding its operations and programmes and putting exciting new plans in place to become the hub of the British creative community in Los Angeles,” said BAFTA LA chairman Kieran Breen.

“We are delighted to welcome Chantal, whose experience and vision will be invaluable in driving these plans forward alongside director of operations Matthew Wiseman and existing team members Wayne Watkins, Lisa Ogdie, Ciaran Toner, Rosalyn Hummel and Pete Modeste. 

“I would also like to thank Donald Haber who will be retiring in May after 18 years of outstanding service to BAFTA Los Angeles.”

Rickards said: “I’m delighted to be joining the BAFTA LA team at a time when British film and television currency couldn’t be higher. We are expanding our services to further promote British talent across the West Coast and will be working closely with our colleagues in London and New York on a global level.

“Television and games will get even greater support as this is a rapidly expanding area of British expertise internationally. I look forward to working with Matthew Wiseman and the team as we expand BAFTA’s activities in Los Angeles. The BAFTA LA board and membership are a powerhouse of energy and ideas and I am sure they will keep me on my toes.”