BBC appoints first non-executive director
Marcus Agius, currently Chairman in London of the investment bank Lazard, and Chairman-designate of Barclays PLC, is the first non-executive director appointment to the BBC's new Executive Board, effective from 1 December 2006.
His appointment as Senior Independent Director was approved by the new BBC Trust this week.
The appointment follows the changes to BBC governance set out in the BBC's new Charter and Agreement.
The BBC Trust will replace the BBC Board of Governors on 1 January 2007, and appointments to the BBC Trust were announced in October by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
A new Executive Board is to be established at the same time which will be responsible for the operational management of the BBC.
The Executive Board will for the first time include non-executive directors, and will oversee the effective delivery of the BBC's objectives and obligations within the framework set by the new BBC Trust.
Appointments to the Executive Board are made in accordance with procedures laid down in the Charter and Agreement and, in the case of non-executive directors and the Director-General, are subject to the approval of the BBC Trust.
The BBC Trustees have also formally approved the appointment of the BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, as Chairman of the Executive Board.
Mark Byford, Deputy Director-General of the BBC, will also serve as Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board.
Marcus Agius has extensive City and commercial experience.
He joined Lazard in London in 1972, becoming Chairman of Lazard London in 2001 and Deputy Chairman of Lazard LLC in 2002.
He joined BAA PLC as a non-executive Director in 1995, becoming Chairman in 2002, and joined Barclays PLC in 2006 as a non-executive Director.
He will retire from Lazard at the end of the year and become Chairman of Barclays PLC in 2007.
He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and is Chairman of the Kew Foundation.
A further four non-executive directors are expected to be appointed to the BBC Executive Board before the year end making up a "significant minority" of the Board.
The remainder of the Board will consist of a number of executive directors.
Announcing the appointment of Marcus Agius, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said: "Marcus Agius brings to our new board an impressive and very successful track record in managing large institutions.
"His role as Senior Independent Director will be crucial to the success of our new board structure.
"I am confident that he will bring a new perspective and challenge to our decision-making which will help us to deliver effectively through the next Charter period.
"I am very much looking forward to working with him."
Marcus Agius said: "I am delighted to be joining the Executive Board of the BBC at this inflection point in its corporate governance and greatly look forward to working with Mark Thompson and his team as they face the challenges of leading the Corporation at a time of great change."
BBC Chairman Michael Grade said: "I am gratified that we have been able to attract a senior independent director of Marcus' reputation and stature, a vote of confidence in the BBC."
BBC Press Office