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BBC Studios appoints Asia leads

BBC Studios (BBCS), the commercial and production arm of the UK pubcaster, has promoted two executives to lead content direction and global distribution in Asia.

Phil Hardman

Phil Hardman has been upped to general manager and senior VP for Asia and Ryan Shiotani becomes senior VP content for Asia and Greater China.

Previously, Hardman was the senior VP of commercial strategy for Asia and was the acting senior VP and general manager for Greater China last year, while Shiotani was senior VP and general manager for South and South-East Asia.

In his new role, Hardman will lead the global distribution teams working in Singapore, Mumbai and Seoul, as well as being responsibility for developing an Asian growth strategy, in territories including India, Japan and South Korea.

Shiotani will be the regional editorial lead across existing and new branded services, as well as advising on brand and content strategy in Asia and Greater China.

The promotions come as Jon Penn, exec VP for Asia Pacific at BBCS, outlined a simpler regional structure, aligning the key markets of India, South-East Asia, Japan and Korea to help drive future growth in the region.

Hardman was appointed senior VP of commercial strategy for BBCS Asia in June 2020 following a six-month period as the acting general manager for Greater China, alongside his role as senior VP of commercial operations and strategy.

During this time, he led the team to secure a multi-regional partnership with Huawei, a broad content partnership with Xigua (Bytedance) and launched BBC First on MyVideo in Taiwan.

Hardman moved to BBCS, then called BBC Worldwide, in 2014 to be financial controller for Asia and became VP of finance for Asia two years later. In 2018, his role expanded to include business operations for China, commercial operations and strategy across Asia.

Ryan Shiotani

A chartered accountant, Hardman started his career in Grant Thornton UK in the business risk services team and first joined the BBC in an internal audit role.

Shiotani joined BBCS in 2007 as director of programming for Asia, overseeing the editorial direction of BBCS’s branded services in Asia, including programming, acquisitions, presentation planning and media planning.

In August 2019, Shiotani became acting senior VP, branded services Asia, also leading the marketing, creative and insights teams locally. He was appointed senior VP and general manager for South and South-East Asia at BBCS in November 2019.

Prior to joining BBCS, Shiotani worked across programming, acquisitions, content sales and production in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America for Discovery Networks Latin America/Iberia, MTM Entertainment, TV Globo and Sesame Workshop.

Penn said: “Phil has demonstrated through his contribution over recent years that he is a strategic thinker and leader who will help turbo-charge our growth in the region.

“The key to our success lies in our premium offering and I am pleased that Ryan, who is a consummate content expert, will be our editorial lead, working across our services and brands in Asia and Greater China.”

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