Tony Hall is stepping down as the director general of the BBC, it has been announced.
The news of Lord Hall’s departure after seven years leading the corporation was relayed to staff by email on Monday. He said he would leave in the summer after concluding that the next director general needed to be in place before the mid-term review of the BBC’s charter in 2022.
“It’s been such a hard decision for me,” he wrote. “I love the BBC … If I followed my heart I would genuinely never want to leave.”
Hall said he would continue to work flat out “to demonstrate why public service broadcasting – with the BBC at its heart – is an eternal idea.”
The BBC chairman, Sir David Clementi, said Hall had been an “inspirational creative leader”.
Clementi said in a statement: “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.
“Responsibility for appointing his successor lies with the BBC board. Within the next few weeks we will publish a job description and advertise the job, seeking candidates within the corporation and externally. We are committed to selecting the best qualified person for the job.”