Ofcom has confirmed the appointment of Dame Melanie Dawes as its new chief executive, while the regulator’s chairman Lord Burns is stepping down.
Dawes was first touted as Sharon White’s successor in November last year. She is currently the most senior female civil servant in the UK as permanent secretary at the ministry of housing, communities and local government. She will take up her new role in early March.
Speaking about the appointment, Lord Burns, Ofcom’s Chairman, said: “I am delighted that the secretary of state has approved Ofcom’s appointment of Dame Melanie Dawes as the next chief executive of Ofcom. The Government’s statement that it is minded to appoint Ofcom as the regulator for online harms is a vote of confidence in Ofcom’s expertise. I know Melanie will do a fantastic job of leading the organisation and maintaining its strengths.”
Dawes added, “Ofcom plays a crucial role in ensuring that people and businesses across the UK get the best from their communications services. It’s a great privilege to be appointed as chief executive at a time of significant change in the sectors Ofcom regulates.”
Meanwhile, Ofcom has announced Lord Burns is stepping down as chairman by the end of 2020.
It follows the inclusion of a programme to establish online harms as part of Ofcom’s remit. The regulator said that in view of the fact that the new role would mean change for Ofcom over the next few years, the secretary of state has indicated that the government would like a chair to be in place who is able to oversee the successful implementation of any changes in full.