The chief executive of Ofcom, Ed Richards, has applied for the BBC director general job. Ofcom ended weeks of speculation by issuing a statement that “robust procedures” had been put in place to prevent potential conflicts of interest.
“Given the significant level of speculation surrounding potential applicants for the BBC director general role, Ofcom can confirm that CEO Ed Richards has applied. Robust procedures, agreed by the Ofcom chairman and the board, have been put in place to prevent any potential conflict of interest,” the regulator said. “Ed has already stepped aside from all discussions and communication at all levels on matters where the BBC may have an interest. This includes board meetings, executive meetings and policy discussions, both formal and informal.”
Richards has played a key role in formulating UK media policy over the past decade. As Tony Blair’s policy advisor at No 10 he helped draft the Communications Act that brought Ofcom into being in 2003 and then joined the newly formed media regulator as senior partner. He was later promoted to chief operating officer and in 2006 replaced Lord Carter as chief executive.