Anne Bulford has become the BBC’s first female deputy director general.
The move comes amidst a major reshuffle which also sees Charlotte Moore named director of content and sport.
It is Moore’s second promotion this year, having become controller of TV channels and iPlayer in January.
The changes were announced as part of a cost-cutting reshuffle that will reduce top level management from 16 to 11.
It will see the creation of a director of nations and regions role, meaning the BBC’s directors of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will no longer be part of the executive management team.
Bulford, formerly managing director of finance and operations, now controls all functions away from its channels and screens, including marketing, audience and a new centraliased commercial rights group. She will oversee distribution of all content and look into further cost-saving measures.
BBC director general Tony Hall said, “The leadership changes I am making today can help ensure that the BBC is best equipped to do this. We must never stand still. We must always be looking to innovate and change.
“The new executive will lead this process of creative renewal to ensure the BBC remains the most creative force in the world.
“On a practical level, these changes are also about creating a simpler BBC with fewer layers and clear lines of accountability. Much has already been achieved, but this process must now be accelerated.