Former B&Q boss Sir Ian Cheshire, 62, takes over at Channel 4 amid looming prospect of privatisation
- He joins the board later this month, succeeding Dawn Airey
- His appointment comes as Channel 4 faces prospect of privatisation
- Government has been consulting on plans to privatise the broadcaster
Former B&Q boss Sir Ian Cheshire has been appointed as the next chairman of Channel 4.
He joins the broadcaster’s board this month, succeeding interim chairwoman Dawn Airey, watchdog Ofcom announced.
Sir Ian, 62, served as group chief executive of home improvement company Kingfisher from January 2008 to early 2015. Before that, he was chief executive of B&Q.
Sir Ian said: ‘I am excited to be joining Channel 4 at this vitally important time for public service broadcasting. As it transforms for a new era of media consumption, I look forward to helping Channel 4 deliver for viewers right across the UK for many years to come.’
His appointment comes as Channel 4 faces the prospect of privatisation.
The Government has been consulting on plans to privatise the broadcaster, which could be sold off to a private buyer, following concerns for its survival in the streaming era.
Former B&Q boss Sir Ian Cheshire has been appointed as the next chairman of Channel 4
Sir Ian is currently chairman of Spire Healthcare, chairman of the environmental investment trust Menhaden and a non-executive director of BT. He is also chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund and the Mental Health at Work Leadership Council. Since 2015, he has also held public roles and was lead non-executive director at the Cabinet Office.
Sir Ian was knighted in 2014 for services to business, sustainability and the environment, and is a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit of France. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said yesterday: ‘I am delighted to approve Sir Ian Cheshire to be the new chair of Channel 4.
‘Sir Ian has an impressive record at the helm of some of Britain’s biggest businesses and I am confident his proven leadership will help Channel 4 go from strength to strength.’
But Labour media spokeswoman Lucy Powell criticised the appointment, saying: ‘Coming fresh off the heels of the appointment of a Tory peer as head of Ofcom, this decision stinks of more cronyism.’ On Friday, Conservative peer Michael Grade was confirmed as Ofcom chairman.
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