Ex-Financial Times chief to oversee the BBC

Rona Fairhead

Rona Fairhead

The UK government has selected Rona Fairhead as its preferred candidate for the vacant role of chairman of the BBC Trust, the body that oversees the activities of the UK public broadcaster.

Fairhead is a former chairman and CEO of the Financial Times Group, and former non-executive director of the Economist Group. She is a non-executive director of the HSBC bank and PepsiCo soft drinks company.

As preferred candidate, Fairhead must now appear before the UK Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for ‘pre-appointment scrutiny’.

UK culture secretary Sajid Javid said: “Her experience of working with huge multinational corporations will undoubtedly be a real asset at the BBCTrust. I am sure that under Rona’s leadership the BBC will continue to play a central role in informing, educating and entertaining the nation.”

Fairhead added: “I am under no illusions about the significance and the enormity of the job but I am excited to have the chance to lead the BBC through the coming years.”

The chairman position became vacant after Lord Patten stood down in May, before the end of his three-year term, citing poor health. In July he took a role advising the Pope.