Lord Tony Hall is stepping down as the director-general of the BBC after seven years, the corporation has announced.
Announcing his move in a message to BBC staff, he said it was a “hard decision” to step down, adding that he is “passionate about our values and the role we have in our country – and what we do globally too.”
In his email, he mentions that the corporation is facing a mid-term review of its 11-year-long Charter in 2022, and wants one person to take it through that, as well as its renewal in 2027.
The BBC’s charter is the agreement between the government and the organisation that sets out its governance and funding, while recognising its editorial independence.
He told staff: “Thanks to you and your great work I believe I’ll be leaving the BBC in a much stronger place than when I joined.
“It feels a very different organisation – more innovative; more open; more inclusive; more efficient; more commercially aware. And a BBC that’s on cracking creative form.
“You all have my thanks and admiration for the part you’ve played in that success.”
Mr Hall added that the BBC’s values “have never been more relevant to the society we live in”, and says that the corporation is “precious” to the UK and that the BBC is the “gold standard of impartiality and truth.”
The chairman of the BBC board, David Clementi, will start a search for a new director-general and it is thought the job will be available to internal and external candidates.
Mr Clementi described Mr Hall as an “inspirational creative leader” following his announcement, adding that he led the BBC with “integrity and passion for our values”.
Tony Hall was made a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords in 2010, and holds the title Lord Hall of Birkenhead.
He had previously been the corporation’s director of news from 1993 and 2001, before moving the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, where he became CEO until his return to the BBC in 2013 as the director-general.
During his tenure, he has overseen a turbulent time at the BBC, including several equal pay disputes, accusations of bias aimed at its news service, and questions surrounding the TV licence model of funding.
In 2015, Mr Hall made the decision not to re-commission Top Gear, after an incident with Jeremy Clarkson on the show, which led to him and his wife receiving “credible” death threats, and as a result, had security made available to them.