The move follows the departure of Myleeta Aga, acting executive VP, Asia, and comes after all BBC Studios’ international sales and distribution businesses, encompassing content sales, branded services and ancillaries, came together as a single global distribution group under Paul Dempsey on Sept. 1.
Penn was previously MD for BBC Studios in Australia and New Zealand. In his expanded role, he will continue to report to Dempsey. Prior to his tenure at BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand, Penn was, for four years, CEO Asia-Pacific for Fremantle’s international distribution division.
BBC Studios was established in April 2018 by the merger of two existing commercial subsidiaries, BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios. Producing about 2,500 hours of content per year, the company has revenue of $1.74 billion (£1.4 billion). In the year to March 2019, it returned $301 million (£243 million) to the BBC Group.
“[Penn’s] ability and experience makes him ideally suited to extend his remit across our successful Asia business,” Dempsey said in a statement. “He has overseen an impressive growth story in Australia and New Zealand, and this is a great opportunity to bring our fast-growing Asia business into a formidable APAC region.”