Rona Fairhead set to be first chairwoman of BBC Trust

Rona Fairhead set to be first chairwoman of BBC Trust

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Trust, the body overseeing the world famous news corporation, is set to get its first female head.

Rona Fairhead, 53, a high-flying executive who sits on the boards of a number of blue-chip companies, was yesterday announced as the prospective new chairperson of the BBC Trust.

Sajid Javid, UK secretary of state for culture, is expected to officially announce Fairhead as government's preferred candidate to fill the slot later today, replacing Lord Patten, who stepped down in May on health grounds.

"The BBC is a great British institution packed with talented people, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to be the chairman of the BBC Trust," Fairhead said.

A long-term non-executive director of banking group HSBC, Fairhead has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

She was selected following "an open recruitment process", government spokesperson said, "overseen by an independent public appointments assessor".

Fairhead will appear before the culture, media and sport select committee on September 9.

Fairhead, who also sits on the board of PepsiCo, was described by its Indian-origin CEO, Indra Nooyi, as "a proven business leader with global experience spanning multiple industries and deep expertise in finance and general management".

She was appointed British business ambassador by Prime Minister David Cameron, earlier this year.

Her predecessor at the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, who was appointed in 2011, left the job of chairman on health grounds following a major heart surgery.

A BBC spokesperson welcomed the "announcement of Rona Fairhead as the preferred candidate for chair of the BBC Trust", however, she cautioned that here was an appointment process that still needed to be completed.

"We will comment further once the process is complete," she added.

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