According to The Latin American Tribune, Rona Fairhead has been selected to head the administrative council of the BBC Trust, making her the first woman to take the helm of the British public network, the BBC reported Sunday (August 31).
Fairhead, 53, the former chairwoman and chief executive of The Financial Times Group between 2006 and 2013, will replace 70-year-old Christopher Patten, who in May announced that he was leaving the top job at the BBC for health reasons.
“The BBC is a great British institution packed with talented people, and I am honored to have the opportunity to be the chairman of the BBC Trust,” Fairhead said.
COMMENT: Ms. Fairhead has served as a non-executive director at HSBC and PepsiCo and in 2012, became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), receiving the award for services to British industry.
Her nomination to head the BBC was made by British Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Sajid Javid, who emphasized her extensive experience at the head of multinationals and her leadership abilities.
Fairhead will have to appear before the Parliamentary Media Select Committee on September 9, to face questioning by lawmakers before she can assume her new post.
The BBC administrative council is the network’s governing body, which is independent of the BBC management body and is in charge of making strategic decisions “in the public interest.”
Fairhead will head the public network during a time of change and cutbacks, and she is due to take over two years before the expiration of the BBC’s ten-year royal charter, which establishes the network’s purposes and operational parameters.