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BBC Worldwide replace CEO John Smith after 23-year career

Last month the BBC refused to comment on rumors Smith was preparing to exit the company after Entwistle was appointed in September.

BBC Worldwide has appointed Tim Davie, currently the BBC director of audio and music, to the position of CEO at the broadcaster’s commercial arm, as new Director General George Entwistle continues to make his mark on the BBC.

Davie will replace the outgoing John Smith, who has held the position for 23 years. Last month the BBC refused to comment on rumors Smith was preparing to exit the company after Entwistle was appointed on 17, September 2012.

Entwistle’s stated desire in his new role to is to align the commercial arm of the company – BBC Worldwide –  with the traditional public service broadcasting that has defined the license fee-funded corporation.

Davie has been running the BBC’s music division since 2008 after joining the corporation in 2005. He will take up the new role from 1 December, the BBC said.

BBC Director General George Entwistle said: “Tim Davie has done an excellent job leading the BBC Audio & Music division and has a fantastic vision for the opportunities that lie ahead for BBC Worldwide. Building on John Smith’s success Tim will now take the BBC’s commercial arm into the next chapter of its development. I am delighted he will be joining the team at this crucial time.

“He leaves the company ideally set up for the future challenges it faces in a digital world.”

John Smith said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead this powerful business, owned by the BBC, that does so much to supplement the licence fee income and takes the BBC brand to audiences around the world.

“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved over the last eight years but I am excited to be moving on to new opportunities in the commercial world as our revenue and profits reach record highs.”

Tim Davie said: “John’s legacy is a company with a strong performance record, leadership in digital and rising international creative exports. I look forward to leading BBC Worldwide through its next phase of growth, delivering further dividends to the BBC and championing great British content around the world.”

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