BBC axes £471,000-a-year deputy director-general

BBC deputy director-general Mark Byford is to be made redundant and his post will not be filled, it has emerged today.

Byford, who has worked for the corporation for the past 32 years and is on a salary of £471,000, will leave early next summer.

The announcement was made this morning by BBC director-general Mark Thompson. The BBC would not reveal details of Byford’s redundancy package, but it is expected to be a six-figure sum.

Last November, the BBC began publishing the salary and expenses details of more than 100 managers, including its top HR directors. The details of business-related expenses and pay packets were published online as part of moves to create a more transparent organisation.

Speaking about Byford’s contribution, Thompson said: “We have concluded – and Mark fully accepts – that the work he has done to develop our journalism and editorial standards across the BBC has achieved the goals we set to such an extent that the role of deputy director-general can now end, that the post should close at the end of the current financial year, and that Mark himself should be made redundant.”

In a note to BBC staff, Byford added: “Obviously I will be very sad to leave this brilliant organisation that has been such a dominant part of my life for so long. But I know this decision is the right way forward. From a summer holiday job to head of all the BBC’s journalism – I have been fortunate and blessed to have had such a wonderful career at the BBC.”

From April 2011, Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, will join the executive board to represent BBC journalism.

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