Heaf, a former director of digital ventures at BBC Worldwide, has been appointed to drive digital development and business opportunities on a global basis.
The BBC says his role “will build on the success of existing digital businesses, which account for over 5% of company revenues.”
Heaf will report to BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith and has been tasked with “nurturing and expanding a digital culture in existing and new markets while also driving international opportunities in both product and business models.”
He joins BBC Worldwide from Channel 4 where for two years he was digital commissioner of 4iP, the company’s digital innovation fund.
Heaf says: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape and grow a powerful digital domain.”
BBC Worldwide operates BBC.com the international version of the BBC’s website that attracts 54m visitors a month outside the UK and has attracted 600 global advertisers since its commercial launch in 2007.
The company is currently seeking a partner for its magazines division.
A recent MarketingWeek.co.uk poll found the majority of voters believe the BBC should curb its commercial activities and focus more on TV shows such as Doctor Who (pictured).
ZenithOptimedia is its sole global media agency.