President, BBC Worldwide - Americas
Ann M. Sarnoff, President, BBC Worldwide Americas
As President, BBC Worldwide Americas, Ann M. Sarnoff is responsible for driving growth and profit across the company’s diversified business divisions in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. She oversees BBC Worldwide Productions (producers of Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear America), Adjacent Productions, linear and digital program sales and co-productions, home entertainment, licensing, and live events. She also leads efforts to amplify BBC Worldwide’s global brands Doctor Who, Top Gear, and the natural history brand BBC Earth.
In 2016, Sarnoff was appointed head of BBC Worldwide’s Global Production Network, charged with developing the strategy for and optimizing the company’s global production operations. Sarnoff is also Chair of the Board of BritBox, a subscription video on demand service with the largest collection of British television in the U.S., launched in March, 2017 as a joint venture with ITV.
Sarnoff joined BBC Worldwide in 2010. From 2010-2015, Sarnoff was COO, BBC Worldwide North America, where she was responsible for most major revenue streams for the company and led cross-business franchise development for global brands, resulting in significant revenue gains. Sarnoff oversaw negotiations around major MVPD deals for BBC AMERICA, leading to an increase in distribution from 68m subscribers to 80m; grew digital program sales to where they exceeded linear program sales; built sales of Doctor Who merchandise to over $100m at retail; spearheaded the BBC.com features section strategy; and launched the first-ever conference for BBC.com – “BBC Future: World-Changing Ideas Summit.”
Prior to joining BBC Worldwide, Sarnoff was President of Dow Jones Ventures and Senior Vice President of Strategy. In this role, she was responsible for leveraging the assets of Dow Jones to create new businesses focusing on digital and B-to-C markets, and for overseeing corporate strategy and business development. Sarnoff created The Wall Street Journal executive conference business, launching a number of new conference franchises including The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, a prestigious gathering of 100+ top CEOs from around the globe, ECO:nomics, the leading conference for executives in the clean-tech space, and Viewpoints West, an executive breakfast series based in Silicon Valley; and overseeing the D: All Things Digital conference. Sarnoff launched FINS.com, a career and jobs site targeted at financial professionals, which later broadened to cover tech, sales, and marketing professionals. FINS.com became the backbone of the WSJ.com Careers site and was subsequently sold to eFinancialCareers. She also chaired the board of FiLife.com, a personal finance joint venture with IAC.
Prior to Dow Jones, Sarnoff was COO for the Women’s National Basketball Association, where she was recruited by and sat on the executive team of NBA Commissioner David Stern. In addition to running the league’s business operations and overseeing player personnel and programs, Sarnoff redefined the WNBA brand, secured new sponsorships, and instituted innovative marketing campaigns for the league.
From 1993-2003, Sarnoff worked with some of the best-known brands in television at Viacom. As Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President for Consumer Products and Business Development, she built Nickelodeon consumer products into a multi-billion dollar revenue business at retail. In this role, Sarnoff developed Rugrats and Blue’s Clues into successful off-air franchises by launching them into toys, apparel, publishing, home video, video games, live events, and themed attractions. She also led the teams that developed new cable channels TV Land and Noggin. Subsequently, she became COO for VH1 and CMT where, in addition to strategic planning and business operations, she oversaw the company’s websites, radio, audio and video products, and launched the channel VH1 Classic.
Sarnoff holds a BS from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She sits on the board of PayPal Holdings, Inc., HSN, Inc., and Georgetown University. She is the vice president of The Women’s Forum of New York and the vice-chair of the advisory board of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown. She also serves on the advisory board of British American Business and the Digital Task Force for New York Public Radio. For the past six years, Sarnoff has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Cable by CableFAX Magazine. She has two children, and lives in New York City with her husband.