Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Loner Rona

2017 could see Rona Fairhead down to her last UK directorship - the limited company that owns her flat in New York, handy for the 25 days a year when she works for Pepsico. There was not much sisterhood evident when Culture Secretary Karen Bradley and Prime Minister Theresa May broke the news to Rona last week that they weren't impressed by the 'process' that Messrs Cameron and Whittingdale had employed to anoint Rona as first Chairman of the new BBC unitary board. She would have to apply. She may well have used some bad words in private musing on the new situation.

She is not applying, and intends a return to the private sector in 2018. Oddly, this coincides with an emerging number of vacancies at the C4 version of GBBO.

Bradley and May be pleased with their 'process', but there's little evidence of a stonking field to take the new top job at the BBC. Last time, Cameron flirted with Coe, and then came an 'open process' producing a dull shortlist, which never featured Rona Fairhead's name. She was assessed for the role, it is said, by Sir Jeremy Heywood, who worked with her as a non-executive in the Cabinet Office, Lord Kakkar, who had been a DTI Business Advisor alongside Rona, and Cambridge contemporary Carolyn Fairbairn. The recruitment took five months from ad to Commons approval.

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