BBC America has appointed Sundance TV chief Sarah Barnett as president and general manager, one month after Sundance parent firm AMC Networks acquired a stake in the US cable network.

Barnett, who was most recently president and general manager of Sundance TV, will replace Perry Simon.

She will continue to report to Ed Carroll, chief operating officer of AMC Networks, which now operates BBC America as a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.

AMC Networks, the group behind Breaking Bad and Mad Men, acquired a 49.9% stake in BBC America in October for £125m.

Barnett joined Sundance TV from BBC America, where she was vice president of on-air. Before joining Sundance, she worked for the BBC in London for 12 years, directing and producing a number of shows across television and radio.

Carroll said that Barnett’s “appetite for creative risk taking” would be well suited for the role.

BBC Worldwide chief executive Tim Davie added: “Sarah has a fantastic track record in the kind of intelligent, creative content that is BBC America’s hallmark. And as a highly respected, collaborative team leader I have every confidence she will deliver success for both joint venture partners.”

Meanwhile, Simon, who commissioned a raft of original dramas such as Copper and Orphan Black alongside acquired UK shows, has signed an exclusive production deal with BBC Worldwide North America that includes development commitments from both BBC America and AMC Networks.

“Perry is a creative force and has led BBC America with dedication and distinction,” said Herb Scannell, president, BBC Worldwide North America.

“His deep knowledge of development, production, scheduling and marketing - along with his hallmark determination and thoughtfulness - have been key in growing the channel and reaching new audiences.”