Derek O’Gara has been in post since Banijay’s takeover of Endemol Shine Group, having been that company’s CFO for four years prior. He previously served in various financial roles for the BBC and BBC Studios (then BBC Worldwide) across two decades.
O’Gara is staying on until the end of this year while a successor is sought.
Jon Penny, former VP Finance at Warner Bros International Television Production, has joined Banijay on an interim basis while the outfit seeks the replacement. Penny has spent the past 12 years at Warner, helping fuel growth of the UK and international TV production and format distribution businesses including the setup of a non-scripted outfit in France and acquisition and integrations of Shed, BlazHoffski and Eyeworks.
During his tenure, O’Gara has been responsible for overseeing the UK financials for French-headquartered producer-distributor Banijay, which makes the likes of Big Brother, SAS: Rogue Heroes and MasterChef and owns production companies including Kudos, Initial and, most recently, The Forge.
In an all-staff memo, Banijay UK CEO Patrick Holland praised O’Gara’s work “during the complexities of the Banijay takeover” and said he had “steadied the ship during the rapidly changing years of COVID, working with production teams to deliver countless budgets on target.”
“He has been a brilliant leader to the finance community at Banijay UK,” added Holland. “We’ll all miss him enormously.”
O’Gara sits on the Banijay UK leadership team alongside the likes of Holland and Chief Operating Officer Sarb Nijjer. Nijjer took up the newly-created role earlier this year to shape strategy alongside Holland.