The chief executive of broadcasting regulator Ofcom is to stand down at the end of the year, it was revealed yesterday.
Ed Richards, a London School of Economics graduate and former adviser to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has held the post for eight years. Prior to that he spent a year as chief operating officer at the regulator which was then still in its infancy.
The search for his replacement has now begun, with the post to be advertised shortly, with the hope of appointing a replacement early next year.
Ofcom said Richards would continue to head up all operational, financial, economic, competition and policy matters until his departure at the end of December.
His total remuneration package detailed in the most recent Ofcom annual report is £393,204.
He said: “It has been a privilege to lead Ofcom during such an exciting and dynamic period in the evolution of the UK’s communications sector.
“It is never easy leaving a job that you enjoy greatly but I have always felt that once I had completed eight years as chief executive this would be the right time to move on.”
Ofcom chair Patricia Hodgson said: “Ed has been an outstanding chief executive. Under his leadership, Ofcom has helped to deliver superfast broadband, 4G, lower prices, innovation, competition, and sustainable public service broadcasting in the UK.
“He leaves an impressive legacy. On behalf of the board I would like to thank him for his enormous contribution.”
Richards originally joined Ofcom as a senior partner and was promoted to the board in 2003. He previously worked in corporate strategy for the BBC.
In 2012, Richards applied to replace Mark Thompson as the next director-general of the BBC. He was beaten to the post by George Entwistle who resigned less than two months later following the Jimmy Savile and Lord McAlpine Newsnight scandals.
As the boss of Ofcom, Richards has overseen the regulation of the TV and radio sectors, fixed-line telecoms, mobiles and postal services.