Burberry has appointed former boss of BBC Worldwide John Smith as its chief operating officer, in a new role for the luxury brand as it bolsters its multichannel capabilities.

In his new role, which he starts on March 4, Smith will drive the operational execution of the brand strategies, focusing on digital media and mobile technology. He will also optimise the potential of the new beauty division across all platforms and find further efficiencies in the business to enable reinvestment in the business.

Burberry said the new position will support the next phase of growth and “reflects the evolution of the executive team”.

Smith has been a non-executive director with Burberry since 2009.

He was most recently the BBC Worldwide chief executive, holding the position for seven years. In the role, Smith oversaw the expansion of the channel through developing global franchises, formats and platforms. BBC Worldwide now broadcasts to more than 100 countries.

Prior to BBC Worldwide he was director of finance and then chief operating officer of the BBC.

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: “John’s exceptional global brand and media expertise, together with his track record in finance and operations, will be invaluable as we continue to combine proven strategies and innovative execution to drive growth in the mobile digital age.

“John’s appointment positions us strongly to optimise the significant opportunities available to the brand by channel, region and product division, and to unlock the potential of unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour. He will be a tremendous addition to our closely connected global team.”

Smith said: “Having had the chance to develop one great British brand on the global stage, it is my privilege now to begin a new chapter at another. Burberry is a business with exceptional future prospects and I look forward to playing a part in the next phase of its growth.”