Mikael Borglund appoints David Smyth new chief executive at Beyond Rights

Beyond Rights

Kate Llewellyn-Jones stepping down, but may continue as consultant to the content company

Beyond Rights has announced TV executive David Smyth (above) will be joining the business as its new CEO on January 3.

Smyth’s most recent role was founder and CEO of YouLook.tv, the UK’s first multi-channel AVOD service. Before that he worked for lengthy periods at both Twentieth Century Fox where, latterly as SVP and managing director, he initiated the ground-breaking BBC/FX deal, and at Sky 1, where he was head of acquisitions. He has also worked at both the BBC and ITV.

The position at Beyond Rights became available after Kate Llewellyn-Jones decided to step aside to free up time to focus on family commitments. She will remain in the business full-time into early 2022 to ensure a smooth handover and transition, and conversations are ongoing about how she can continue to support the business on selected projects next year on a consultancy basis.

David Smyth will report into Mikael Borglund, CEO and MD of Beyond International.

Commenting on the new role Smyth said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining this dynamic business at such a pivotal and changing time for our industry. I’m thrilled at the prospect of working with the talented Beyond Rights team, honoured to be taking over from Kate and thankful to Mikael and the board for placing their trust in me. I am also looking forward to getting to know the other businesses in the wider Beyond group and seeking new opportunities to work together and further grow the Beyond brand in the marketplace.”


Mikael Borglund

CEO and MD of Beyond International added: “David brings with him incredible depth and breadth, having worked for broadcasters, distributors and more recently an AVOD business, and his rich knowledge of the international TV market, coupled with his sharp commercial skills, make him perfectly poised to lead the team and drive the next phase of Beyond Rights’ future.

“We are sad to lose Kate but will always be grateful for the significant contribution she has made to the business. She hit the ground running during an incredibly challenging period in 2020, and her drive, expertise and strategic smarts have helped to deliver the cohesive, ambitious, and thriving business that we have today. On a personal level, I have also really enjoyed having Kate as a colleague so, while I wish her well with her future ventures, I am pleased that she will remain working with us during the transition period and beyond.”

Kate Llewellyn-Jones said: “I have been so proud to be Beyond Rights’ first CEO, merging the TCB Media Rights and Beyond Distribution businesses – remotely during the pandemic – and to come out the other side as one of the UK’s top 10 and most respected distribution businesses. I’d like to thank the Beyond Rights team for making me so welcome and working alongside me on the challenges of bringing the two businesses together. I’d especially like to thank Mikael Borglund for his enduring support. I have immensely enjoyed my time in the business but as I need to now spend more time with family, it is right for me to pass the baton to a new CEO and David is a wonderful appointment. In time, I am also looking forward to developing some other professional interests and passions that I hope will mark the next phase in my career.”

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