The first female Deputy Director General of the BBC has announced she will be stepping down.
Anne Bulford has been praised for her innovations at the BBC, and said it was an “honour” to be the first woman to achieve her role at the broadcaster.
Director General Tony Hall hailed her as an “inspirational leader”, who helped changed BBC working practices.
Bulford will leave the BBC after six years as Lord Hall’s deputy.
She said: “It’s been an honour to be the first woman Deputy Director General of the BBC and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved since 2013.
“The BBC is an amazing organisation, 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.”
Lord Hall has praised his departing colleague for her work in transforming the HR, finances, legal, and technological practices of the BBC and handling a daunting portfolio of responsibilities.
He said: “Anne has been an inspirational leader. She has brought real insight and determination in bringing change to the BBC. Her achievements at the BBC are many – 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.
“Anne leaves the BBC a stronger organisation than the one she joined six years ago.
“She has been a first class colleague and an absolute pleasure to work with. I wish her every success for the future.”
Bulford is set to pursue non-executive roles outside the BBC.
She appeared before the Digital Culture Media and Sport Select Committee in January 2018 in relation to the pay inquiry at the BBC, following allegations of gender pay imbalances.
She assured the committee then that, “across the whole of the BBC, we have been undertaking a fundamental programme.”
The broadcasting executive also oversaw plans to increase the number of disabled staff at the BBC from 8% to 12% by 2022.
Bulford previously worked at Channel 4 as chief operating officer, and received an OBE for services to broadcasting in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Before that she spent three years working with the Royal Opera House.