Mark Thompson

From Academic Kids

This article is about Mark Thompson, the director of the BBC. For the Australian Rules footballer, see Mark Thompson (footballer).

Mark Thompson (born July 31 1957) is Director-General of the BBC, and a former chief executive of Channel 4.

Born in London and brought up in Hertfordshire, he went to Stonyhurst College in Lancashire and Merton College, Oxford, where he received a First in English. He now lives in Oxford with his American wife Jane, and has three children.

Broadcasting career

He first joined the BBC as a production trainee in 1979. His subsequent career within the organisation has been varied, including:

In April 2000 he became BBC director of television, but left the corporation in March 2002 to become chief executive of Channel 4.

Appointment as Director-General

Thompson was appointed Director-General on May 21 2004. He succeeded Greg Dyke, who resigned on January 29 2004 in the aftermath of the Hutton Inquiry. Although he had originally stated he was not interested in the role of Director-General and would turn down any approach from the BBC, he changed his mind, saying the job was a "one-of-a-kind opportunity".

The decision to appoint Thompson Director-General was made unanimously by the BBC Board of Governors, headed by new Chairman Michael Grade (another former chief executive of Channel 4). His appointment was widely praised: Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, Shadow Culture Secretary Julie Kirkbride and Greg Dyke were amongst those who supported his selection.

He took up the role of Director-General on June 22 2004 (Mark Byford had been Acting Director-General since Dyke's resignation). On his first day he announced several management changes, including the replacement of the BBC's sixteen-person executive committee with a slimmed-down executive board of nine top managers.

Preceded by:
Mark Byford (Acting)
Jan 2004-June 2004
Director-General of the BBC
2004-
Followed by:
Current incumbent

External links

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