George Entwistle appointed as Director-General of the BBC

Date: 04.07.2012     Last updated: 23.09.2014 at 09.48
Category: Press releases

The BBC Trust has today appointed George Entwistle as the Director-General of the BBC.

George Entwistle, who is currently Director of BBC Vision, will take over from current Director-General Mark Thompson on a salary of £450,000 per year.

Mark Thompson announced his intention to leave the BBC in March this year and will hand over to George Entwistle in the autumn.

Announcing the appointment, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said:

"George is a creative leader for a creative organisation.

"His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love - built up through many years of working for the Corporation - will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world.

"Above all George is passionate about the BBC, is committed to its public service ethos and has a clear vision for how it can harness the creativity and commitment of its staff to continue to serve audiences in ever more innovative ways."

George Entwistle said:

"I'm delighted that the Chairman and Trustees have decided I'm the right person for the job. And I'm very excited about all that lies ahead. I love the BBC and it's a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life."

Mark Thompson said:

"I think this is a brilliant appointment. George has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with an intuitive understanding of public sector broadcasting. He has a formidable track record as a programme maker and in recent years has also shown his calibre as a leader. I wish him and the BBC every success in the years to come."

Lord Patten added:

"I once again want to pay tribute to Mark Thompson. His creativity, vision and leadership have made him an outstanding Director-General of the BBC and he will be sorely missed."

Notes to editors

  1. George Entwistle has been with the BBC since 1989 when he joined as a broadcast journalism trainee. His most recent position was as Director of BBC Vision, which he has held since 2011. Prior to that he was the Controller of Knowledge Commissioning and he has been responsible for some of the BBC's most high profile programmes including Panorama, while he was Head of Current Affairs, and Newsnight, of which he was the editor. His full biography can be accessed here
  2. George Entwistle will be the 15th Director-General of the BBC. The Director-General is the Chief Executive Officer of the BBC and its Editor-in-Chief. The Trust has also determined that the Director-General will chair the BBC's Executive Board. The Director-General is the editorial, operational and creative leader of the BBC, with responsibility for a significant global workforce and the Corporation's services across television, radio and online.
  3. The appointment was made at a full meeting of the BBC Trust this morning, following a two stage interview process. An initial short list of candidates was interviewed by Lord Patten and Trust Vice Chairman Diane Coyle. Following this a final list of candidates was interviewed by a panel comprising the following Trustees: Lord Patten, Dr Coyle, Alison Hastings, David Liddiment, Anthony Fry and Elan Closs Stephens. A recommendation was then put forward to the full Trust board and agreed this morning.
  4. The appointment is a permanent contract and is subject to standard BBC terms and conditions. The package consists of a basic salary and the BBC's standard pension arrangements. There is no variable component to the pay.
  5.  The Trust was assisted in the search for the Director-General by executive recruitment firm Egon Zehnder after a competitive process. The firm carried out an initial succession planning phase of work to identify the key elements required of any new Director-General should a vacancy arise in the future. This involved interviewing more than 30 people with an insight into the role. They used this information to help the Trust draw up a role specification. In the second phase of the exercise Egon Zehnder designed and managed the recruitment process on behalf of the BBC Trust. Egon Zehnder was paid a total of £186,000 plus VAT, covering both phases of the work.*
  6. Mark Thompson was appointed to the role of Director-General in May 2004. He is currently paid £671,000 per year.
* CORRECTION 7th July 2012: The level of fees originally stated as payments to Egon Zehnder was misstated. We originally stated that the total cost of that work was £157,500 + VAT. The cost of the work carried out by Egon Zehnder was £60,000 + VAT for phase one of the work and £126,000 + VAT for phase two; a total of £186,000 + VAT. The error reflected the fact that not all invoices had been received at the time of publication.