Lord Tony Hall, who will leave his £450,000-a-year role as director general in six months, has been appointed chairman of the board of trustees at the National Gallery.
The director general revealed his decision in a message to staff, saying that he wanted to put "the interests of the organisation first". What the BBC is, and what it stands for, is precious for this country.
He described him as "an inspirational creative leader" who had "led the BBC with integrity and a passion for our values".
'Within the next few weeks we will publish a job description and advertise the job, seeking candidates within the Corporation and externally. We ignore that at our peril. "We are committed to selecting the best qualified person for the job".
We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the United Kingdom national press. It was really important to me to set a clear direction for us, as well as celebrating some of the outstanding work you're doing.
The row over the removal of free TV licences for most over 75s was a bruising episode for the department DG but coming up is the biggest battle of all - the negotiations over the future of the licence fee, with a figure due to be settled in 2022 taking the corporation up to 2027, the year in which the BBC's Royal Charter is due to be renewed. But the corporation, which celebrates its centenary in 2022, faces growing pressures on several fronts, notably competition from the U.S. streaming giants and hostility from rightwing politicians and press. It has been criticized by both sides of the Brexit debate over its coverage of the U.K.'s impending departure from the European Union, and some in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government have suggested changing the BBC's funding model.