UK media regulator Ofcom has named Sir Ian Cheshire as appointed the next chair of pubcaster Channel 4. He will join the broadcaster’s board on 11 April, succeeding the interim chair Dawn Airey.
Cheshire was group CEO of Kingfisher plc from January 2008 to early 2015. Before that he was CEO of B&Q from 2005. He is currently chair of Spire Healthcare, chair of the environmental investment trust Menhaden, and a non-executive director of BT.
He has also served as lead non-executive director at the Cabinet Office. His appointment for a three-year term has been approved by the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Nadine Dorries.
Cheshire’s appointment has led to former C4 senior figures and opposition politicians expressing concern about his close ties to the ruling Conservative party. Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell accused the government of preparing for the sell-off of the broadcaster.
“I am delighted to approve Sir Ian Cheshire to be the new chair of Channel 4. Sir Ian has an impressive record at the helm of some of Britain’s biggest businesses and I am confident his proven leadership will help Channel 4 go from strength to strength and ensure it thrives long into the future amid a time of rapid change for the sector,” said Dorries.
“Sir Ian is a terrific appointment for Channel 4. He has a distinguished track record in both public and private service, and will ensure the highest standards of governance and accountability as a hugely experienced Chair of other major boards. I would like to thank Dawn Airey for serving so brilliantly as Channel 4’s interim chair since January, and Charles Gurassa for his excellent six years of service before that,” said Maggie Carver, Ofcom’s interim chair.
“I am excited to be joining Channel 4 at this vitally important time for public service broadcasting. As it transforms for a new era of media consumption, I look forward to helping Channel 4 deliver for viewers right across the UK for many years to come,” said Cheshire.