Matchbox Pictures recruits ABC man

Hot on the heels of an SBS executive joining the independent production sector, now ABC’s Head of Business and Operations, Chris Oliver-Taylor, has resigned to join Matchbox Pictures (The Slap).

Oliver-Taylor will become Matchbox’s new Managing Director having spent six years at the ABC.

Matchbox’s Helen Bowden and Michael McMahon, said in a statement: “We are very pleased to have recruited Chris Oliver-Taylor to the role of managing director of Matchbox Pictures. He is a talented executive with a great breadth of experience, solid commercial knowledge and strong business acumen.

“Through his position at the ABC he has played a key role in development and production for the Australian television industry. We welcome Chris to this new managerial role at Matchbox Pictures, in support of our incredibly exciting slate of creative content.”

Matchbox Pictures is also partnered by producers Penny Chapman, Tony Ayres and Helen Panckhurst.

During his time at the ABC, Oliver-Taylor  has been second-in-charge to Kim Dalton, Director of Television, negotiating a number of Matchbox projects including The Slap, My Place, Mrs Carey’s Concert, Leaky Boat and Girl in a Mirror.

After ABC staff union raised concerns about his commercially sensitive position being compromised, an ABC spokesman told The Australian he would not be working on any current business.

“He is working with the acting head of business and operations in a handover capacity, and working with the TV executive on broader triennial funding strategy. Chris has no access to any commissioning information, which was immediately withdrawn on Chris’ notice of resignation.”

Matchbox has several current and recent projects as ABC co-productions including The Slap, The Straits, Aussiewood and My Place.

Last week Peter Newman resigned as Head of Production and Development at SBS for production company WTFN, while SBS’s Director of Television and Online Content, Matt Campbell became Managing Director of Shine Australia and New Zealand in July.

Oliver-Taylor begins in mid-November.


  1. And all is well with the world. This kind of staff turnover is very healthy for the industry. The ABC, SBS and the state and federal screen agencies are not retirement villages. There are far too many people hiding inside these comfy public sector jobs – time to move on for them as well.

  2. Secret Squïrrel

    I guess this sort of thing is inevitable with less content being produced in-house – jobs will migrate to independent production companies and staff will follow. We’ll prob only hear about people in the more prominent positions but there’ll be plenty of others who will make the move.

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