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BBC names Board appointments

March 24, 2017

By Colin Mann

The BBC has announced its appointments to the unitary Board which will replace the two-tier structure of the BBC Trust and the BBC’s Executive Board as the Corporation’s governing body from 3 April 2017.

The five non-executive directors are Simon Burke, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Ian Hargreaves, Tom Ilube and Nicholas Serota.

Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, said: “I’m delighted to have been able to put together such a talented board with a broad range of skills and experience who will be able to ensure the BBC remains a first-class broadcaster. The Board will push the BBC to offer the highest quality, hold its executives to account on delivery, while protecting its independence to ensure licence fee payers get the very best programmes and services.”

The BBC executives joining Tony Hall, Director-General, on the Board are Anne Bulford, Ken MacQuarrie and Chief Executive Officer of BBC Worldwide Tim Davie, with the latter now seemingly well-placed to succeed Hall as Director-General, despite Clementi’s assertion that consideration around succession planning had played no part in the Board appointments. Bulford is also a potential candidate.

“Under the new Charter, four members of the Board must be executive directors, and this number must include the BBC’s Director-General,” explained Clementi. “Reporting to the Director-General is a senior team including Anne Bulford, Tim Davie, James Harding, Mark Linsey, Charlotte Moore, Ken MacQuarrie and James Purnell. All of them will regularly attend Board meetings.”

“Anne Bulford is the Deputy Director-General with responsibility for the BBC’s finance and operations. In view of the Board’s central responsibility for financial stewardship of the Corporation, Anne will join the Board. Ken MacQuarrie will also join the Board. Ken is the executive director responsible for the Nations and Regions. Oversight of the BBC’s public service obligations in the Nations and Regions will form an important part of the agenda of the new Board, and Ken will work closely with the Government-appointed members for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,” advised Clementi.

“In addition, Tim Davie will join the Board. Tim is the Chief Executive Officer of BBC Worldwide, which is an important part of the BBC’s commercial portfolio and whose success will be critical to the Corporation during the new Charter period.”.

The latest appointments follow the recent announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport that Steve Morrison and Dr Ashley Steel are the Board members for Scotland and England respectively. Members for Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to be appointed.

As agreed under the new Royal Charter, a unitary Board will replace the two-tier structure of the BBC Trust and the BBC’s Executive Board as the Corporation’s governing body.

The Board is responsible for ensuring the BBC fulfils its mission and public purposes as set out in the Charter. This includes setting the strategic direction for the BBC; the creative remit; budgets for UK public services and the World Service; a framework to assess performance; standards for editorial and creative output and services; a framework for handling complaints; a policy on the distribution of UK public services; and a strategy and governance arrangements for the BBC’s commercial activities. The Board will also consider any proposals for material changes to UK public services or trading activities and commercial activities.

Including the Chairman, the new BBC Board will consist of 14 members of which four non-executive members are appointed by DCMS to represent each of the nations of the UK. The BBC appointed the further five non-executive members and the four BBC executives including the BBC Director-General.

Non-executive directors will be paid £33,000 (€38,247) p.a., a rate which is set by the Secretary of State. The BBC executives do not receive any extra payment for being a member of the Board.

Burke is an experienced retail and consumer executive and has managed some of the best-known retail names in the UK. He is currently a member of the BBC Executive Board, and Chairman of the Audit Committee

Grey-Thompson has been a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords since 2010. Her Paralympian career saw her compete in five Paralympic Games winning 16 medals in total.

Hargreaves is Professor of Digital Economy at Cardiff University. He has spent most of his career in the news industry, where his roles included Deputy Editor of the Financial Times, Editor of the Independent, Editor of the New Statesman and Director of BBC News and Current Affairs. He was a founding board member of Ofcom.

Ilube is a technology entrepreneur and educational philanthropist. He is currently CEO of cyber security firm Crossword Cybersecurity plc and has previously founded several start up technology businesses.

Serota is Chair of Arts Council England and Director of Tate, from which he will retire at the end of May. He is currently a member of the BBC Executive Board.

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