Anne Bulford, the BBC’s first female deputy director-general, is set to leave the British pubcaster in the spring, it was announced Thursday. Bulford, who took on the deputy director-general role in July 2016 after joining the BBC in February 2013 as managing director of finance and operations, is leaving to pursue a portfolio of non-executive roles.
Many saw Bulford as a potential successor to BBC director-general Tony Hall, who has served in the broadcaster’s top job since April 2013. Hall said Bulford had been “an inspirational leader” who would leave the BBC “a stronger organization than the one she joined.”
“It’s been an honor to be the first woman deputy director-general of the BBC, and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved since 2013,” said Bulford. “The BBC is an amazing organization, with so many talented people. I feel I’m leaving the BBC in a stronger position and I’d like to thank Tony, my colleagues and especially all my teams for their contribution and hard work.”
In her role as deputy director-general, Bulford was responsible for all the finance, HR, legal, risk and technology functions of the BBC. She also managed strategy, marketing and audience activities.
Hall said: “Anne has brought real insight and determination in bringing change to the BBC. She has ensured the BBC continues to innovate and deliver hugely popular services to the public; she has vastly improved the BBC’s efficiency to industry leading levels; she has led a transformation in the BBC’s working practices.”
What steps the BBC will take next in relation to Bulford’s vacated post have yet to be announced.