Mumbai: BBC chairman Richard Sharp has announced the appointment of Damon Buffini to the new role of deputy chair of the BBC board, in his capacity as BBC Commercial Board chair.
Buffini was a founding partner of the international investment firm Permira, where he was managing partner from 1997 to 2010. He has been the Royal National Theatre chair since 2015 and has held multiple non-executive directorships across various industries.
Buffini joined the BBC board as a non-executive director in November 2021 and was appointed chair of the BBC Commercial Board in March 2022. His appointment to deputy chair reflects the importance of the BBC’s commercial activity to the overall success of the organisation.
Talking about the appointment, Sharp said, "I am incredibly pleased that Buffini will take on the additional role of deputy chair of the BBC board, reflecting the integral part that the BBC’s commercial activity plays in the organisation’s overall success. As chair of the BBC Commercial Board, Buffini brings vast experience and expertise to the oversight of our commercial operations at a time when the BBC board is looking for significant and sustained commercial growth."
Buffini has made three new non-executive director appointments to the BBC Commercial Board.
Gary Newman, Ian Griffiths, and Claire Hungate will all join the BBC Commercial Board as non-executive directors, following approval from the BBC board, with effect from 1 April 2023 for an initial term of three years.
Newman was Fox Television Group chairman & CEO, which included Fox Broadcasting and Twentieth Century Fox Television, until its acquisition by Disney. During his tenure at Fox, he oversaw the development and production of such shows as 24, Glee, Modern Family, Homeland, 911, and The Masked Singer.
Ian Griffiths was the deputy CEO and CFO of market intelligence agency Kantar from 2020 to 2022. Between 2008 and 2019, he served as ITV CFO & COO and was previously EMAP CFO.
Hungate has held the roles of Warner Bros. TV Production UK CEO, Shed Media COO, and Wall to Wall MD. Today, she is Team Liquid's president and COO. This is an established esports organisation with a global audience reach of around 40 million.
Buffini stated, "The BBC’s commercial subsidiaries, already successful, have been tasked with a further step-change in performance. The appointment of three new non-executives, with spectacular industry experience, reinforces the Commercial Board’s commitment to support and challenge the executive in achieving these stretching goals."
The new non-executive appointees join to replace non-executive directors Steve Morrison and Dame Elan Closs Stephens, whose full terms on the BBC Commercial Board are due to expire in March 2023.
He added, "I also want to record my sincere thanks to both Elan and Steve for their service. It has been a pleasure to work with them both; their commitment to the BBC’s commercial mission is deeply held, and they step down knowing that the BBC’s commercial activities are in excellent health."
The BBC Commercial Board oversees the delivery of the BBC’s commercial activities. These are primarily made up of BBC Studios, a global company across production, distribution, licensing, channels, and streaming, and BBC Studioworks, which provides studios and post-production services to the UK’s broadcast and production industry.