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Ofcom UK Appoints HM Treasury’s Sharon White to CEO Role

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 (10:00 am) - Score 535
sharon white ofcom uk ceo

The United Kingdom’s telecoms and media regulator, Ofcom, has today announced that Sharon White will in late March 2015 take over the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from Ed Richards, who steps down at the end of this month. The regulators Strategy and Technology Director, Steve Unger, will cover the intervening period as acting CEO.

Richards, who has been in the role of CEO since 2006 and first joined Ofcom way back in 2003, announced his intention to leave the regulator in October 2014 (here). In his time at Ofcom Richards became a seasoned veteran of what is easily one of the most complicated markets to understand and govern. By contrast Sharon White will very much find herself being thrown in at the deep end and with a lot to learn.

On the other hand White, an economics graduate, already has 25 years’ of experience working in the public sector and for the past year she has been the Second Permanent Secretary responsible for the Treasury’s finance ministry functions. Prior to that White was also the Director General of Public Spending at HM Treasury. Sadly her telecoms experience is rather limited.

Ofcom Chairman, Dame Patricia Hodgson, said:

Sharon brings with her an outstanding combination of intellect, political acumen and experience leading complex public organisations. The Ofcom Board is confident that Sharon will provide the leadership and vision to ensure Ofcom continues to promote a thriving communications sector in the UK that operates in the public interest.”

Sharon White said:

The communications sector is vital to the economy and delivers essential services to everyone in the UK. I look forward to starting in this fascinating job and building on Ofcom’s considerable track record.”

The CEO position is a public appointment made by the Ofcom Board that involves “an independent assessor” and is subject to approval by the Government’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Sharon White’s salary will be £275,000 per annum and it will be interesting to see whether she has any flexibility to push the regulator in a different direction, although major changes are usually dictated by political desires from higher up the food chain.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Another Blair ‘yes’ prodigy person just like the last incumbent of this political appointment that was there for 8-years. The problem is that all these so-called ombudsmen do literally nothing for their money and all these quangos should be dismantled (that cost the taxpayers tens of millions every year and probably the total cost exceeds £100 million). Indeed if you have ever had to go to one of these government ombudsmen you will know what I mean…a complete waste of time and effort. The WEB is full of people disillusioned with the system and where they have in the majority of cases been served out with ‘rough justice’. Indeed as an example if you go to the LGO (Local Government Ombudsman) you will find out eventually that they are former chief executives of local authorities who are in charge and where they back up their friends in local government. You have little chance of winning any consideration whatsoever against their local government colleagues. If you don’t believe me undertake a ‘Google’ search and you will find scathing websites dedicated to the wrongs that these quangos do. It appears clearly the case to me having studied the matter in-depth, that the government set up these government quangos to make the people think that there is a last resort appeal system in place that is just and fair. The reality is that none of them are just and fair, and far from it. They are all biased towards government bodies and the industries that they overlook (or serve in some respects) if you read the independent websites dedicated to the wrong doings of these so-called overseeing government bodies. Ofcom is bad enough and where the government (no matter what colour it is) needs ‘yes’ people to run them to try and stop anything bad coming out politically (we know it does and where Ofcom does suppress things behind closed media doors – the other reason why it is there and in place) and where nearly £300k plus full additional expenses (bringing it to over £500k) is not bad for starters to get their political patronage. The Financial ombudsman is not even worthy of merit as we all know with allowing the banks to amass over £4.5 trillion in debt (Yes, £4.5 trillion) for the nation, predominantly due to the meltdown that we the taxpayers had to bail out according to PwC – ‘UK’s Debt is far more than what people really think’ – http://worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/uks-debt-id-far-more-than-what-people.html

    These government bodies are therefore just smoke-screens as usual and where by the appointment of totally ‘independent’ bodies can true justice be the case. For this can never happen when people are appointed who have worked directly for former prime ministers, ministers of state and bodies that they have worked within and have overseen, no matter even if they are former senior civil servants. The connections are too cozy and close for true merit and people should clearly understand this for transparency and pure justice. For there is none or little currently with the present regime of appointing political back-pocket people that will only look after the powerful interests of their appointees. Unfortunately I have say based upon many decades of observations, that the country is subtly corrupt to its core.

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