BBC director general Mark Thompson is to step down from his post after the Olympics this year, it was reported last night.
Mr Thompson, 54, took the top job in 2004, after Greg Dyke resigned following criticism of the way the BBC handled a report on the build up to the Iraq War. But he has now signalled to senior colleagues that he will leave at the end of this year or in early 2013, according to sources quoted in The Guardian.
The report comes less than a week after the BBC Trust chairman, Lord Patten, revealed in an interview that he had already began the hunt for Mr Thompson's replacement.
Lord Patten also said that the next director-general of the BBC will be paid a "substantially" lower salary. Mark Thompson currently earns £671,000 per year.
Among the names being linked with the role are head of BBC Vision George Entwistle, chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, radio boss Tim Davie, head of news Helen Boaden, BBC North boss Peter Salmon and Mark Scott, head of Australian public broadcaster ABC.