James Purnell to join the BBC as director of strategy and digital

James Purnell. Photo: Mark Thompson
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Former Labour culture secretary James Purnell has been appointed as director of strategy and digital at the BBC.

Purnell, who is returning to the Corporation having worked there as head of corporate planning in the 1990s, will be responsible for running the strategy, digital, communications, policy, public affairs, marketing and audience divisions.

He said: “I’m really excited to be coming back to the BBC, to work on its future with such a great team.”

His appointment is one of the first under incoming director general Tony Hall, who today has also announced Helen Boaden, currently director of BBC News, is to take up the post of director of BBC Radio.

This post was formerly known as director of audio and music, and was previously overseen by Tim Davie, who is currently acting director general and who will take up a post as chief executive of BBC Worldwide in April.

Hall today said Davie’s role has been expanded to include the role of director of global. He will be responsible for developing the BBC’s international brand and editorial strategy.

Hall said: “I am building a senior team that will define the BBC and public service broadcasting for the next decade.”

He added that there will be “more changes” over the coming months.