BBC Brings in Channel 4 COO as Latest Hire by Incoming Director General

Stuart Kemp
The Hollywood Reporter
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LONDON –The BBC has hired Channel 4 chief operating officer Anne Bulford as its new managing director of finance and operations -- a newly created role.

Bulford previously worked with incoming BBC director general Tony Hall at the Royal Opera House.

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Bulford will replace the BBC's outgoing chief financial officer Zarin Patel and will also take on some of the duties of the BBC's former chief operating officer Caroline Thomson.

Bulford was acting chief executive of Channel 4 following Andy Duncan's exit from the post in 2009, until the appointment of David Abraham. She will join the BBC in the summer.

In the announcement, Hall said: “Anne’s appointment is another significant step towards building a senior management team with the creative and strategic skills to lead the BBC for the next decade. She is a remarkable talent with a very impressive track record and we are very lucky to have secured her skills for the BBC in such a competitive market. I would also like to thank Zarin for her excellent stewardship of the Finance division over the last eight years.”

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Bulford will be paid a total package of $600,000 (£395,000). She will also sit on the BBC's executive and Worldwide boards and oversee finance, operations, technology, legal, and various other functions including commercial rights and business affairs.

Bulford spent three years with the Royal Opera House as director of finance and business affairs, and was previously finance director at Carlton Productions. She also previously worked at the BBC as head of internal audit and financial director for BBC Productions.

Bulford said of the new job: "I am really looking forward to returning to the BBC. I have such great respect for the organization and cannot wait to come back and be a part of the new management team. I am also very pleased to be working with Tony once again."

Hall himself will begin at the BBC on April 2.