Mark Thompson, the director general of UK public broadcaster the BBC, could step down by the end of year according to local press reports.
The Guardian newspaper claims that Thompson has told senior colleagues that he is ready to quit after the Olympics and could step down by the end of 2012. The news has been fuelled by comments from Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust that governs the BBC, that he had hired headhunting firm Egon Zehnder to start preliminary work on finding potential successors to Thomson.
Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention earlier this week, Patten said he expected Thompson would leave the corporation before he is due to step down from the Trust in 2015. In a statement released after Patten’s comments, the BBC said: “Whilst speculation is inevitable, as the BBC chairman has made clear earlier this week this is sensible succession planning and does not signal an immediate vacancy.”
Thompson was appointed director general of the BBC in May 2004.
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