Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE, has announced that he is to stand down as the BBC’s Director-General in the summer.
Hall has been in the role since April 2013 and previously served as the BBC’s Director of News from 1993 to 2001.
In an email sent to BBC staff, Hall detailed his reasons for leaving the position.
“It’s been such a hard decision for me. I love the BBC. I’m passionate about our values and the role we have in our country – and what we do globally too,” he said. “If I followed my heart I would genuinely never want to leave. However, I believe that an important part of leadership is putting the interests of the organisation first.”
He also expressed a desire to have a new Director-General firmly in place by the time of the BBC’s mid-term review process in Spring 2022.
He added: “Change has been tough at times – and, of course, there’s still more to do. But I believe our recent record of transformation stands comparison with virtually any other creative organisation in the world.
“Second, without question, our values have never been more relevant to the society we live in. As our country enters its next chapter it needs a strong BBC, a BBC that can champion the nation’s creativity at home and abroad, and help play its part in bringing the UK together.
“In an era of fake news, we remain the gold standard of impartiality and truth. What the BBC is, and what it stands for, is precious for this country. We ignore that at our peril.
“Finally, we must and can never stand still. We have to keep adapting, reforming and leading. Our values are timeless but the need for constant change is ever-present. The BBC has changed hugely in recent years – and that’s going to continue. We have to embrace the opportunities it brings.”
The search for Hall’s successor will be led by Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, along with the rest of the BBC Board.
Clementi said: “Tony Hall is an inspirational creative leader, within the UK and around the globe, and the BBC has been lucky to have him as our Director-General for the last seven years.
“Tony has led the BBC with integrity and a passion for our values that is obvious to everyone who meets him. His reforms have shaped the BBC for the future and he will leave the BBC in the summer with our gratitude and our very best wishes.”