Chief operating officer Caroline Thomson to leave the BBC

Caroline Thomson Caroline Thomson also applied for the director general job

BBC Operations will be axed and chief operating officer Caroline Thomson will leave the BBC at the end of September.

George Entwistle announced the change in a speech to staff on his second day in the job as director general.

Thomson started as chief operating officer six years ago. She was responsible for Strategy, Legal, Workplace, Distribution, Business Continuity, Complaints and Outreach. The division grew to include Technology & Archive, Safety, BBC People, Communications, Marketing & Audiences and Editorial Policy, with a budget of almost a billion pounds and over 2,500 people.

She was in charge of the moves to Salford and New Broadcasting House. Entwistle pointed out she had delivered the digital swtichover scheme on time and under budget.

Thomson said in an email to the division's staff "I have agreed with George that this is the right time for me to leave".

George Entwistle, BBC director general: "The BBC must stand at the heart of creative endeavour"

BBC Operations and BBC Finance will merge and be run by the current director of finance Zarin Patel who will also leave the BBC within the next 12 months.

Entwistle told staff his challenge is "making us as good as we were during the Olympics all the time" and creating a BBC "focusing on creativity and run solely for that purpose".

He said he wants to stop "internal competition… duplication… leaking, briefing against each other".

"In an increasingly competitive world we can't afford to squander" he added.

New management board

  • George Entwistle, director general
  • Helen Boaden, News
  • Roger Mosey, Vision
  • Tim Davie, Audio & Music
  • Ralph Rivera, Future Media
  • Lucy Adams, BBC People
  • Zarin Patel, chief financial officer
  • Ken MacQuarrie, Scotland
  • Rhodri Talfan Davies, Wales
  • Peter Johnston, Northern Ireland
  • Peter Salmon, North
  • David Jordan, Editorial Standards

Other changes announced in the speech include a management board reduced from 25 to 12 people, director of BBC People Lucy Adams will rejoin the Executive Board and Fiona Reynolds will take over from Marcus Agius as the senior non-executive director on the Executive Board.

In his first press interview, published on Tuesday morning, the new director general said he will fight for originality and quality.

George Entwistle told the Radio Times that he "can feel - and this had been true the whole time I have been here - that the way the organisation is run is somehow slightly dislocated from the thing the organisation is for: outstanding creative originality and outstanding journalistic quality".

The article goes on to say that the director general vows to "go to war on… every bit of the design and the structure and management and every bit of the culture that isn't optimised for that."

Enwistle revealed in the Radio Times interview conflicting views about the corporation.

"The original letter I wrote as part of the application process said that I both love the BBC and at times find it an immensely frustrating place," he said.

Ariel requested various interviews with both the outgoing director general Mark Thompson and the incoming director general George Entwistle. All requests during the two weeks before and after changeover have been declined.

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