Bennett joined the BBC in 2011 and has been responsible for both critical and audience successes, including seeing the channel record its all-time highest 16–34 share.
Commenting on his departure, he said: “I’ve hugely enjoyed working at BBC Three, but this felt like an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. I leave BBC Three on top form with its highest ever viewing share and six nominations at this year’s BAFTAs. I will miss working with the outstanding channel and commissioning teams, the BBC is lucky to be home to some of the most creative and inspiring people in television and it’s been a privilege to learn from them in my time here.”
BBC director of television, Danny Cohen, added: “Zai has been a fantastic controller of BBC Three and has led the channel to great success, in terms of quality, awards and audience performance. He’s a true gentleman and I will miss working with him.”