BBC hands director-general role to former marketing boss Tim Davie

Davie worked at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo before joining BBC in 2005.

Tim Davie, chief executive of the BBC’s commercial operations, BBC Studios, has been named the corporation’s next director-general.

Davie, who began his career as a marketer at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo, joined the BBC as director of marketing, communications and audiences in 2005.

He remains well-known in advertising and marketing circles, as he is currently co-chair of the UK government’s Creative Industries Council.

Davie – who was also a strong contender to be director-general in 2012, when Tony Hall was recruited from the Royal Opera House – will take charge of the BBC in September.

As director-general, Davie will be chief executive and editor-in-chief, with responsibility for the creative, editorial and operational leadership of the BBC in the UK and around the world at a time of multiple challenges.

Viewers have been migrating to streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, but a threat to the continuation of the licence fee appears to have receded as the BBC has devoted extensive coverage to the coronavirus crisis.

Davie said: "This has been a critical time for the UK and these past few months have shown just how much the BBC matters to people. Our mission has never been more relevant, important or necessary. I have a deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality.

"Looking forward, we will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences in this fast-moving world. Much great work has been done, but we will continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant. I am very confident we can do this because of the amazing teams of people that work at the BBC."

Sir David Clementi, chairman of the BBC board, added: "Tim has a strong track record as the CEO of BBC Studios and is one of the most respected names in the industry. His leadership and experience, both outside the BBC and within, will ensure that we are well-placed to meet the opportunities and challenges of the coming years. Tim has an enthusiasm and energy for reform, while holding dear to the core mission of the BBC.

"We know that the industry is undergoing unprecedented change and the organisation faces significant challenges as well as opportunities. I am confident that Tim is the right person to lead the BBC as it continues to reform and change."

Clementi is a former merchant banker who knows the ad sector as he advised Saatchi & Saatchi during its heyday on the stock market.

A version of this article first appeared in PRWeek's sister title Campaign.

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