Salmon, the former Endemol Shine chief creative officer, will lead Banijay UK as executive chairman from next month, while UK chief operating officer, Hicks, will become CEO of the newly-restructured operation.
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The changes mean that Johnston is stepping down after more than five years running Endemol Shine UK. Johnston is a true veteran of the company, having worked at Endemol for 18 years before it merged with Shine in 2014.
In taking charge of Banijay UK, Salmon will oversee an empire of 25 production labels, responsible for making shows including MasterChef, Grantchester and The Island With Bear Grylls.
“It’s a great moment to land one of the biggest production jobs in the world,” he said. “In Lucinda Hicks I also have a terrific partner – bright, hard-working and a lot of fun. Together, we are dedicated to building an inclusive and ambitious operation, where our teams have the support, direction and leadership they need but also the autonomy and freedom necessary to deliver the best ideas on the planet.”
Salmon first joined Endemol Shine in 2016 following senior roles at the BBC and Channel 4. Hicks was elevated to her COO role in 2015 having previously run Endemol Shine producer Dragonfly. She said she was looking forward to “driving innovation and originality” in Banijay UK’s output.
Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti said: “Already heavily engaged in the country’s business and tapped into much of its network, Peter and Lucinda were in a prime position to take the group through the next stage of its journey.” He also thanked Johnston for his “incredible dedication, commendable service and significant hard work in putting the UK group and its labels in such great health.”