Paul Dempsey, BBC Worldwide's MD for consumer products, has been appointed interim chief executive of BBC Worldwide, taking on the role for three months before Tim Davie arrives next year.
Dempsey is, in effect, filling the gap caused by the sudden resignation of BBC director general George Entwistle and his replacement by Tony Hall, who will start next March. Davie, currently acting director general, will return to lead BBC Worldwide in March 2013.
Dempsey will run BBC's commercial arm from December to March of next year.
John Smith, BBC Worldwide's current chief executive, announced his decision last month to step down after eight years in charge of the organization. He will leave the business in December.
Davie appointed Dempsey in his capacity as acting director general.
In his current role, Dempsey oversees Consumer Products, a global producer and distributor of TV entertainment packaged media, including DVD, Blu-ray, DTO, licensed product, music, BBC Shop, and book publishing partnerships.
He joined BBC Worldwide in 1998 as UK sales director and became MD of BBC Audiobooks in 2002. He was appointed director of BBC Worldwide's audio and music business when it was established in 2006.
Prior to joining BBC Worldwide, Dempsey's background in sales and marketing included eight years at Mars Confectionery, followed by two years as sales director of Frontline Ltd, BBC Worldwide's magazine joint venture business.
As a result of the move, Marcus Arthur, MD for global brands, will take over Dempsey's current responsibilities as acting MD for consumer products, in addition to his own current role.
"I am proud and privileged to have been asked by [Davie] to take on these responsibilities as an interim measure until he arrives early next year,” said Dempsey. “BBC Worldwide is a dynamic company with exciting times ahead of it. My immediate priority will be to provide the company with leadership and direction, so it can keep on delivering great returns to the BBC."
This article originally appeared on the website of MediaWeek, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.