Businessman Sir Ian Cheshire has been named Channel 4’s next chairman.
He will join the channel’s board on Monday April 11, succeeding interim chairman and media manager Dawn Airey, watchdog Ofcom has announced.
Sir Ian, 62, was Group Chief Executive of home improvement company Kingfisher from January 2008 to early 2015.
Previously, he had been Managing Director of B&Q since 2005.
Sir Ian said: “I am delighted to be joining Channel 4 at this crucial time for public service broadcasting.
“I look forward to helping Channel 4 transform into a new era of media consumption, reaching viewers across the UK for many years to come.”
His appointment comes as Channel 4 faces privatisation.
The government has debated plans to privatize the channel, which could be sold to a private buyer, amid concerns about its survival in the streaming era.
Sir Ian is currently Chairman of Spire Healthcare, Chairman of the Environmental Investment Trust Menhaden and a Non-Executive Director of BT.
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He is also Chair of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund and the Mental Health at Work Leadership Council.
He has also held public office since 2015 and was the Lead Non-Executive Director in the Cabinet Office.
Sir Ian was knighted in the 2014 New Year Awards for services to the economy, sustainability and the environment and is a Knight of the National Order of Merit of France.
In approving his three-year term, Media Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “I am delighted to confirm Sir Ian Cheshire as the new Chair of Channel 4.
“Sir Ian has an impressive track record at the helm of some of the UK’s largest companies and I am confident that his proven leadership will help Channel 4 grow in strength and ensure it performs at a time of rapid change for the sector thriving long into the future. ”
Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon said: “On behalf of Channel 4 I would like to congratulate and welcome Sir Ian Cheshire to Channel 4.
“In addition to his extensive commercial experience as President of the Business Disability Forum and his commitment to sustainability and the environment, he shares many of Channel 4’s core values, vision and ambitions.
“I would also like to thank Dawn Airey for her spectacular and supportive tenure as Vice Chair.”
Maggie Carver, Interim Chair of Ofcom, said: “Sir Ian is a superb appointment for Channel 4. He has an excellent track record in both public and private service and will serve as a highly experienced Chairman to others with the highest standards of governance and accountability ensure great boards.
“I would like to thank Dawn Airey for having served so brilliantly as Interim Chair of Channel 4 since January and Charles Gurassa for his outstanding six years of service prior to that.”
Lucy Powell, Labor’s shadow media secretary, criticized the appointment.
She said: “This decision, which comes just after a fellow Tory was appointed head of Ofcom, reeks of more nepotism.
“Instead of pushing their war on Channel 4, one of the biggest drivers of creative jobs outside of London, the Tories should focus on independent appointments that can get the job done.”
On Friday, fellow Conservative Michael Grade was confirmed as Ofcom’s next chairman until April 2026.
Ofcom plans to add two more non-executive directors to Channel 4’s board in the coming months.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/former-kingfisher-boss-sir-ian-cheshire-appointed-chairman-of-channel-4-41515139.html Former Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire has been appointed chairman of Channel 4