BBC Reveals New-Look Commercial Board


The BBC has made a series of appointments to its Commercial Board, which oversees BBC Studios, including naming Damon Buffini chairman.

The BBC Commercial Board, formerly the BBC Commercial Holdings Board, will now feature a majority of external non-executive directors, bringing commercial, financial and digital experience across media and technology.

As chairman, Buffini, a foundation partner of the global investment firm Permira, will guide the future growth of BBC Studios and the BBC’s broader commercial ambitions. He began his appointment as a non-executive director in January 2022 and will become chairman on April 1.

“BBC Studios has an impressive track record for creativity and business within the creative industries, and the new board arrangements are a significant step to enhancing this further, both in the U.K. and globally,” Buffini said.

Newly appointed global non-executive directors are Bhav Singh and Gunjan Bhow. Singh has experience in digital media, education and technology and has led and scaled businesses for ViacomCBS and Pearson. He is now the founder and CEO of the digital learning group Sandbox & Co. Bhow is a leader in digital transformation and was most recently chief digital officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance. he has also held senior leadership roles at The Walt Disney Studios and Amazon Prime Video.

Singh and Bhow join the current non-executive directors, academic and media policy expert Elan Closs Stephens; Mai Fyfield, former chief commercial officer and chief strategy officer at Sky; and Steve Morrison, All3Media’s co-founder and former chairman.

The three executive directors are Leigh Tavaziva, group chief operating officer at the BBC; Tom Fussell, CEO of BBC Studios; and Lorraine Burgess, chief financial officer of BBC Studios.

“I am delighted to welcome Gunjan and Bhav as new directors to the BBC Commercial Board,” Buffini said. “Gunjan’s experience of digital leadership and transformation and Bhav’s in-depth knowledge of consumer products and technology will be invaluable for the BBC’s next chapter of commercial ambition and growth. Serving alongside Elan, Mai and Steve, Bhav and Gunjan complete a compelling non-executive bench.”

The new BBC Commercial Board will report to the BBC Board on the delivery of BBC Studios’ objectives, in line with the BBC’s overall commercial strategy, and on BBC Studioworks. Increasing commercial income is one of the BBC’s four key priorities under Director-General Tim Davie, alongside a renewed commitment to impartiality, a focus on high-impact content and extracting more value from online.

“Building the BBC’s commercial income is an essential part of providing brilliant programmes and services in the future,” said Richard Sharp, BBC chairman. “Through these changes, we are harnessing increased external and independent expertise to support that aim, and I’m delighted that Sir Damon Buffini has agreed to chair the new Board.”

Davie added, “We have ambitious growth plans for BBC Studios to increase financial returns very significantly. The new BBC Commercial Board brings further external insight to our commercial operation as we accelerate growth and, in turn, ensure the BBC can maximize value for license-fee payers.”