BBC marketing supremo is axed

The BBC's marketing supremo Sharon Baylay is being axed in the latest shake-up of senior figures, it was announced today.

The closure of the post of director of BBC marketing, communications and audiences comes a day after it was announced that deputy director general Mark Byford is to leave.

Ms Baylay, who is paid £310,000, will leave the corporation when her role ends. She joined in May last year.

The BBC said the purpose of the restructuring is to "further streamline management and management boards at the BBC and to make further progress towards the BBC's target of reducing its senior manager pay bill by 25% by the end of next year".

There are also changes to the BBC's board, with Peter Salmon, director of BBC North, and Lucy Adams, director of BBC People, stepping down. They are to join a new BBC "operating committee".

Mr Salmon upset some when he revealed he would not be moving north, despite hundreds of staff having to relocate for the opening of a major new office in Salford which involves a number of important departments being transferred.

The BBC's marketing, communications and audience divisions and people divisions will be absorbed into the operations group, which is headed by chief operating officer Caroline Thomson.

Again, the BBC said the changes would create further efficiency savings.

Mr Byford is to leave the BBC next year after 32 years. His departure means director of news Helen Boaden will join the board to represent BBC journalism.

Director general Mark Thompson has written to BBC staff to explain the changes.

He said: "My objective is simplification - simplifying reporting lines, simplifying structures and reducing the number of senior managers.

"No one should doubt our continuing belief in the importance of the work done by these divisions and the crucial role they have to play in the future of the BBC."

The reduction in the number of executive directors on the board has been approved by the BBC Trust.

The Times reported today that BBC creative director Alan Yentob may also be set to step down from his role.

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