Mandy Thwaites and Mat Way both given extra responsibilities following the departure of Rikesh Desai.
BBC Studios has confirmed several changes within its licensing team following the departure of Rikesh Desai, the company’s licensing director for UK & EMEA.
Mandy Thwaites (pictured left), director of magazines, will take on additional responsibility for the merchandising team, and Mat Way (pictured right), global director of live entertainment will now also lead the gaming and interactive team.
Both will continue to report to Stephen Davies, BBC Studios’ managing director of consumer products and licensing.
“Rikesh has been a driving force behind our merchandise and gaming licensing activity for the last few years and he generated a significant amount of new business and growth for the company, the recent ground-breaking Doctor Who game releases and the tidal wave of Bluey merchandise deals to name a few,” commented Stephen. “It’s fair to say that he has left those businesses in terrific shape.”
“I am delighted that Mandy and Mat have agreed to take on additional responsibilities. [They] both bring passion, energy and commercial nous to carry on the excellent work taking place across the consumer products and licensing division here at BBC Studios.”
Mandy, who joined BBC Studios in 2014 and has managed multiple magazine licensing deals and compliance for over 20 brands during her time at the company, enthused: “It couldn’t be a better time for me to be joining forces with the incredible merchandise team.
“We’ve the launch of Bluey products about to launch in the UK off the back of the show’s massive success in Australia and the USA. And then Bluey is off to Europe. Hey Duggee will lead the way as we’re soon to roll him out too across European territories. And sustainability is top of my to do list, we’ve made great strides in this area but there is still work to do.”
Mat, meanwhile, has worked in the live entertainment team at BBC Studios for ten years and was promoted to global director of live entertainment in 2018.
“I am thrilled to be joining the gaming and interactive business where there is already a deeply knowledgeable and passionate team in place,” he offered. “Both the live entertainment and gaming and interactive businesses provide really exciting opportunities to bring our brands to life and engage fans in new ways, and given the synergy between the two areas, I am looking forward to exploring new ways of working together too.”
BBC Studios’ consumer products and licensing division has recently secured an extensive catalogue of licensees in the UK to coincide with the launch of preschool series Bluey on CBeebies, new partnerships and renewed deals for Hey Duggee including its first confectionery product with Kinnerton, and successful BBC Earth branded product launches.