BBC Worldwide boss Tim Davie took home £664,000 in pay in the year to April, new figures published by the BBC reveal.
His total earnings represent an increase on his take-home pay last year of £640,000.
Davie’s package for running the Corporation’s commercial arm make him easily the highest-paid BBC executive. The next highest is director-general Lord Hall, whose total pay was £465,000 for the financial year to April 2016.
However, news of Davie’s bulging pay packet comes as BBC Worldwide’s contribution to BBC coffers actually fell.
BBC Worldwide’s job is to sell BBC content, like hit shows Doctor Who and Sherlock, commercially in order to plough profits back into main BBC programming. However, according to the report its return in the last financial year was £222.2m.
This is a drop of 1.9% on 2014/15, when it earned £226.5m for the BBC.
BBC insiders said that the drop was partly explained by the sale of 49.9% of BBC America to AMC Network in October 2014, which caused a “spike” in the figure for the previous year.
A source added: “Tim’s bonus reflects the fact that there was a four per cent increase in underlying profits for BBC Worldwide this year which is a good result. The previous year’s profits were affected by the fact we sold almost half of our stake in BBC America, so this was always going to be a tougher year. The BBC’s Remuneration Committee sets stretching targets – which were met. BBC Worldwide’s success this year returned over £200m to the public service for programmes that UK licence fee payers enjoy on screen.”
Davie’s pay packet – which includes a £224,000 bonus – contributed to a growth in the salary bill for the BBC’s top executives and staff.
The amount paid to the BBC’s executive board, which includes Hall and Davie, grew slightly from £3.6m to £3.7m
The BBC said it had kept its promise to cut senior management headcount with numbers dropping from 401 to 356 last year.
The corporation paid out a total of £26m in severance pay last year to 448 staff, with £4.8m of that going to 40 senior managers.
The BBC also made a small cut in the amount paid out to its highest-earning stars such as Gary Lineker, Graham Norton and Chris Evans.
The bill for those earning from £500,000 to £5m a year fell 25% from £8.9m to £6.6m.