MIPCOM, Cannes – Statement issued from Singapore Wednesday regarding the resignation of Christine Leo-McKerrow as BBC Worldwide Channels Asia’s senior vice president and general manager, took a few senior executives by surprise here in Cannes. While it was known internally of Leo-McKerrow’s intention to leave end January 2009, execs were not expecting the Singapore-issued press release which came the day of a BBC Worldwide Channels EMEA party. Asked about the news by Television Asia Plus, managing director Worldwide Channels Darren Childs said that the decision to leave had been Leo-McKerrow’s, denying rumours of increasing tensions between them. Childs praised Leo-McKerrow’s accomplishments, including the global launches of new BBC-branded channels, BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies in Asia, including Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Korea. “She’s achieved a phenomenal amount in a relatively short time, especially compared to other newer networks in the region, it’s been exhausting for her and she’s decided to take a break. We’re now looking for someone with the energy to take the business to the next level.” Childs refused to comment on speculation that BBC Lifestyle, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies, currently on SingTel’s mioTV IPTV platform, will soon be joining sibling channel BBC Entertainment on StarHub Digital Cable. The Singapore office of executive search firm Odgers Ray & Berndtson has been engaged to find Leo-McKerrow’s replacement.