BBC Studios chooses Ding Ke as its GM for Greater China

BBC Studios has announced that Ding Ke has been appointed as its new SVP and general manager (GM) for Greater China.

Based in Beijing, Ke will be responsible for BBC Studio’s Greater China business, including content distribution, co-productions, format sales and branded services. She is currently head of content sales & formats for BBC Studios in mainland China, with her new appointment coming into effect from 1 June 2020. She will be working with SVP commercial Julia Nocciolino, (who leads BBC Studios’ consumer products business across Asia) and head of business development Emma Ong (who works with partners in the region to develop commissions and co-productions).

Ke replaces Kelvin Yau, who left the company in December 2019. In the interim, Phil Hardman has been serving as the acting GM.

Jon Penn, EVP for BBC Studios APAC made the announcement. Commenting on Ke’s promotion, he said, “Ding Ke has been an integral part of the leadership team in China since she joined in 2011, and has been responsible for strong sales growth over the last three years as our Head of Content Sales & Formats. She has forged new partnerships with clients and is an outstanding ambassador for BBC Studios’ Global Distribution business in the region.”

When Ke originally joined BBC Studios in 2011 she was made responsible for the company’s TV sales in mainland China. Ke followed that up with a 2014 transfer to the consumer products department where she managed live events and the consumer products business in China. She moved to her present head of content sales & formats role in 2017 and has earned kudos for securing co-productions with CCTV9, launching BBC Earth Tribe on Tencent, fostering a British drama community on Youku, as well as securing multiple business co-operations with BiliBili, Xigua (ByteDance) and Huawei. Prior BBC Studios, Ke worked for Chellomedia’s China branch Encore International.

Ding Ke commented on her promotion saying: “I’m looking forward to cooperating with our valued clients, delighting audiences by bringing bold, British, creativity to the market, and helping to realise our partners’ ambitions.”

Ke’s appointment completes the jigsaw puzzle for BBC Studios APAC leadership under Penn. In addition to Ke, they are Fiona Lang (GM for ANZ based in Sydney), Ryan Shiotani (SVP & GM for S&SE Asia based in Singapore), Geo Lee (SVP & GM NE Asia based in Seoul).

Furthermore, now Hardman has been freed up from his acting GM duties, he will take on a broader remit as the SVP of commercial strategy for BBC Studios Asia from 1 June, where he will lead the company’s Asia business growth strategy.

phil hardman plain backdrop

Phil Hardman

Penn commented, “Phil has done an exceptional job leading the Greater China team over the last few months and his new, expanded role will enable us to reap the benefits of his strategic commercial leadership. I’m delighted that we have such strong leaders to help us grow in the territory.”

Hardman first joined the BBC for an internal audit role in 2012 but in 2014 he moved to BBC Studios (then BBC Worldwide) to be its financial controller for Asia.  From 2016 he became VP finance for Asia and a  member of the Asia Board for BBC Studios.  Since 2018, his role has expanded to include business operations for China, commercial operations and strategy across Asia.

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