BBC Studios chief executive Tim Davie has been confirmed as the new Director General of BBC.
Outgoing director general Lord Tony Hall announced in January that he would be stepping down in the summer after seven years at the helm of the corporation.
Davie, 53, who has 15 years executive experience with the BBC, will now become the public broadcaster’s 17th director general.
He previously stepped in as acting director-general in 2012, following George Entwistle’s resignation.
The former marketing director was one of the favourites to take the role, stepping into one of the most-high profile broadcasting jobs in the country.
Speaking about the challenge ahead, Davie said: “This has been a critical time for the UK and these past few months have shown just how much the BBC matters to people.
“Our mission has never been more relevant, important or necessary. I have a deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality.”
Davie said he wants to “accelerate change” and said the corporation will “continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant”.
Davies takes over the wheel at a turbulent time, with the corporation in talks with the government over the future of the licence fee, job cuts, and ongoing rows over equal pay and diversity – not to mention the coronavirus pandemic.
Competition from streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and new contenders Disney + and Apple TV will no doubt add to his load.
However, despite the challenges ahead, Davie will be taking a pay cut in the new £525,000 post.
As head of the corporation’s commercial production and distribution arm, his salary plus bonus totalled £600,000 last year.
Additionally, with all all senior managers at the BBC currently on a salary freeze, Davie will remain on the same pay as his predecessor Lord Hall – who earned £450,000 throughout his tenure – until August 2021.
Earlier this year, Lord Hall said the corporation needed to make around £125m in savings due to financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about his successor, Lord Hall said he was “delighted”, adding that “the BBC is in safe hands”.
Noting the challenges the broadcasting industry is facing right now, chairman of the BBC board Sir David Clementi noted Davie’s “enthusiasm and energy for reform, while holding dear to the core mission of the BBC”.
He said he was confident Davie was the right man for the job.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted his congratulations, at the same time hinting at the future changes he envisions for the corporation.
Dowden wrote: “We spoke this morning and I welcomed his commitment to impartiality at the BBC, as well as the need for further reform. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead.”
The TV licence system is protected in law until 2027, but the government has pledged to review the funding level from 2022.
Prior to joining the BBC as director of marketing and communications in 2005, Davie worked for both Pepsi and Procter and Gamble.
While at BBC Studios he oversaw production of shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Blue Planet and Doctor Who.
Davie has also served as the corporation’s head of audio, with responsibility for stations including Radio 2 and the phoenix-like Radio 6 Music, and acted as a trustee of BBC charities Children In Need and Comic Relief.
In 2018 the Cambridge-graduate was awarded a CBE for services to international trade, and the following year he turned down an offer to become head of the Premier League.
Outside of work, the father-of-three is a keen runner and has completed several marathons including the extreme race Marathon des Sables in Morocco.
Davie will take over his new role in September.