The BBC has appointed Tom Fussell as CEO of BBC Studios, its commercial production and distribution arm.

Fussell has run BBC Studios on an interim basis since September 2020, when the division’s former boss Tim Davie became director general of the BBC.

BBC.Tom Fussell

CEO of BBC Studios Tom Fussell

Fussell will also be a member of the BBC’s Executive Committee.

The BBC said Fussell will be responsible for leading the development and delivery of global expansion plans for BBC Studios, as well as continuing to deepen employee engagement and wellbeing; putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of BBC Studios; and embedding sustainability throughout the company.

Tim Davie said: “In the last year, Tom has proven himself an outstanding leader for BBC Studios, steering the company through its most difficult times with both conviction and compassion, and delivering strong results.

“We share immense ambition for the business: making bold and brilliant content for audiences everywhere, and taking world-class British programmes and journalism to the world in new ways. I’m delighted that Tom will be leading the BBC Studios’ team to achieve this vision.”

Fussell joined BBC Worldwide as chief financial officer in 2016, taking on the same role in the newly merged BBC Studios in 2018, and later adding property and technology to his brief. He serves on the BBC Commercial Holdings Board and is also chair of BBC StudioWorks. He had previously held a range of financial roles for the then BBC Production and BBC Group Finance between 1997 and 2007.

Outside the BBC, Fussell was CFO of Shine Group from 2013 to 2015, remaining to complete the merger with Endemol. He held a variety of commercial director roles at Harper Collins UK and was also finance director for Random House in the UK.

Fussell said: “I’m honoured to be heading up BBC Studios for the future. BBC Studios is a core part of the BBC Group, and increasingly supports across all its strategic priorities from unique high priority content and impartiality to online and, of course, commercial income.

“With ambition to serve both British and international audiences in new ways, my role is to work with everyone in BBC Studios to strengthen and transform all we do for the future.”