As director of the BBC's external sound broadcasting services, he chaired the EBU Constitutive Conference at Torquay in February 1950 and was unanimously elected the first President after the Statutes had been signed.
He held the office until 1951 and, following re-election in 1955, remained President of the union throughout the rest of his term as Director General of the BBC, his qualities of leadership enhancing even further the corporation's reputation in international broadcasting circles.
On retirement from the BBC he became the union's first Honorary President, maintaining close contacts with his old friends in Geneva. In 1978 he took part in the inaugural ceremony for the new EBU headquarters building, promising to be back for the union's 50-year celebrations. It did not seem implausible at the time.