Patel takes control at the BBC

BBC Finance will become a separate division under group finance director Zarin Patel, director-general Mark Thompson confirmed this week.

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Patel finally stepped out of her predecessor John Smith’s shadow this week, and has officially been appointed to the executive board. She will report to Thompson.

‘Following on from the announcement of John Smith’s appointment as chief executive of BBC Worldwide, I would like to confirm that BBC Finance will become a separate division under Zarin Patel,’ said Thompson in an internal email. ‘Zarin will now formally be a member of the executive board, reporting directly to me.’

The news followed a series of cost-cutting announcements made by Thompson and to be implemented by Patel. Last week Thompson confirmed that total cost savings would reach £335m across the BBC.

More than a third of these would hit the professional services division of the BBC, which includes Patel’s 880-strong finance department.

Patel said that, although the announcement had only been made this week, she had been reporting to Thompson for some time and was already a member of the board.

To read a full interview with the BBC’s Patel, watch out for next week’s Accountancy Age

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