Former Financial Times CEO Rona Fairhead named preferred candidate to succeed Lord Patten as BBC Trust chair

Former Financial Times Group chief executive, Rona Fairhead CBE has been named as the Government’s preferred candidate to take the chairman role at the BBC Trust.

Fairhead, who was chairman and CEO of the Financial Times Group for seven years until last year, has been singled out by the Government as its preferred choice to succeed Lord Chris Patten who stood down earlier this year citing health problems, following a stormy time in the role, which included the Jimmy Savile scandal and the departure of director general, George Entwistle.

As a result, Fairhead will now face the scrutiny of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 9 September.

Sajid Javid, culture secretary, commented: "Rona Fairhead is an exceptional individual with a highly impressive career history. Her experience of working with huge multinational corporations will undoubtedly be a real asset at the BBC Trust.

"I have no doubt she will provide the strong leadership the position demands and will prove to be a worthy champion of licence fee payers.

“I am sure that under Rona’s leadership the BBC will continue to play a central role in informing, educating and entertaining the nation,” she added.

Fairhead is currently a non executive director with HSBC and PepsiCo.

It had been speculated that former controller of the BBC, Lord Michael Grade was also interested in applying for the role, but would not have made a popular return had he been successful.

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