Ofcom begins search for next chief executive

(Image credit: Ofcom)

Ofcom has begun the search for a new chief executive to replace Sharon White who will leave her post early next year.

The UK communications regulator has appointed recruiter Russell Reynolds Associates to lead the search and is inviting applications.

“The Ofcom Board now seeks an exceptional leader with considerable skill, experience and strong social purpose to deliver its mission – ensuring people and businesses across the UK have access to high quality, affordable communications services,” said a job listing.

Ofcom CEO

The ideal candidate is expected to have experience of public-facing roles – either in the commercial or public sector – with effective leadership skills and experience of working in a complex environment with competing trade-offs and a high degree of public scrutiny.

In return, the next CEO will receive a basic salary of £315,000 and a performance-related bonus of up to 20 per cent.

Whoever is successful in the role will be tasked with overseeing policy for a range of services, including television, radio, connectivity, and the BBC. The rollout of 5G and full-fibre broadband will be among the most pressing issues.

White has been Ofcom CEO for more than four years and announced her departure last month. Her tenure saw a number of measures designed to aid consumers, such as automatic compensation and easier switching between providers, and to promote investment in network infrastructure.

She also oversaw the once-in-a-decade review of the UK communications market which resulted in the formal separation of BT and Openreach, as well as the UK’s first auction of 5G spectrum.

White’s future lies outside the public sector and she will take up the position of Chairman of The John Lewis Partnership at the start of 2020. 

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.