Caroline Thomson to leave the BBC

I want to mark this moment by paying tribute to Caroline’s enormous contribution to the BBC over many years now ... [She] will take our affection and gratitude with her.”George Entwistle, BBC Director-General
Date: 18.09.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.04
Category: Corporate
The BBC today confirmed that Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Thomson, will be leaving the BBC at the end of September. The move follows confirmation by the BBC’s new Director-General, George Entwistle, that he is closing the post of Chief Operating Officer as part of the restructure of his senior team.

Thomson began her long and distinguished career at the BBC as a journalism trainee in 1975, going on to produce a range of BBC radio and television series, including BBC Radio 4’s Analysis and BBC One’s Panorama. She left the BBC in 1984 and joined Channel 4, where she rose to become Head of Corporate Affairs. She returned to the BBC in 1996 as Deputy Director of the BBC World Service and then went on to hold a series of posts before becoming the BBC’s Chief Operating Officer in 2006. In this role, Thomson has been responsible for a wide range of the BBC’s corporate and operational divisions, including Policy & Strategy, Marketing, Communications, Legal, Editorial Policy, Business Operations and Technology, Distribution & Archive.

In her current role, Thomson has successfully delivered all the BBC’s major infrastructure projects: digital switch-over, the move of more than 3,000 staff to Salford, and the development of the BBC’s two main sites in central and west London. She was also integral to the successful negotiation of two licence-fee settlements in 2007 and 2010.

In a speech to BBC staff today the Director-General praised Thomson, saying: “I want to mark this moment by paying tribute to Caroline’s enormous contribution to the BBC over many years now. She was pivotal in winning the last charter for us, when her impeccable strategic leadership helped deliver a clearly defined 10-year mission for the BBC, securing our purposes and funding through to 2016.

"More recently, she’s delivered a strikingly successful Digital Switchover Programme, which will come to an end next month in Belfast, on time and under budget. She has also shaped and led the biggest transformational projects of the last few years, making possible this building and the BBC’s new home at Media City in Salford – plus the recently announced sale of Television Centre for £200 million, a brilliant deal by any standard. Caroline will leave at the end of September and will take our affection and gratitude with her.”

Caroline Thomson added: “It has been an immense privilege to be part of the leadership of the BBC - the world's best public service broadcaster. Wonderful programmes, brilliant colleagues and a real sense of public purpose, what more could you ask? I wish George and his colleagues the best of luck as they take the BBC forward - I know it will be safe in their hands.”

A biography of Caroline Thomson can be found here.

BBC Press Office