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BBC Director-General to leave after Olympics

Mark Thompson announced he will step down as BBC director-general after this summer’s London Olympics.

The 54-year-old has headed the public broadcaster since 2004, making him the BBC’s longest-serving director-general since Sir Charles Curran in the 1970s.

In a message to staff Thompson said he will be leaving the BBC much stronger than the broadcaster he inherited back in 2004. 

“Trust and approval are at record highs, our services are in brilliant creative form and we’ve demonstrated beyond contradiction that the BBC can be just as much of a leader and innovator in the digital age as we once were in the analogue one. Now more than ever, to audiences at home and abroad the BBC is the best broadcaster in the world.”

Following the announcement, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten praised Mark Thompson for being an outstanding Director General of the BBC.

“He took over during a traumatic period in the corporation’s history and subsequently enhanced its reputation for creativity and quality, while setting the course for the BBC’s digital future. I will miss him on both a personal and professional level and I wish him the very best of luck for the future.”

The Trust will shortly begin the process of recruiting a successor.