The BBC has announced that Paul Dempsey will become interim CEO of BBC Worldwide from December until incoming CEO Tim Davie’s arrival next year. BBC Worldwide’s current CEO John Smith announced his decision last month to step down after eight years in charge of the company and will leave the business in December.

Dempsey, currently Managing Director for Consumer Products at BBC Worldwide, will oversee the BBC’s commercial arm from December 1 until Tim Davie hands over his duties as Acting Director-General to Director-General Designate Tony Hall in March.

“Paul has a great track record at BBC Worldwide and a sound understanding of the commercial imperatives that have made it an international success. I have every faith that he is the right person to lead BBC Worldwide over the coming months and make sure it carries on supporting the BBC brand around the world,” said Tim Davie, who made the appointment as Acting Director-General.

In his current role, Dempsey oversees Consumer Products, a global producer and distributor of TV entertainment packaged media, including DVD, Blu-ray, DTO, licensed product, music, BBC Shop and book publishing partnerships.