Key BBC exec gets the chop

BBC deputy director general Mark Byford is to be made redundant and will leave the corporation in March 2011 as the broadcaster tries to address criticisms that it has become bloated and pays excessive salaries to its senior executives.

Byford is understood to be the first casualty of the review of the corporation’s management structure, after it promised to reduce the number of senior managers by a quarter. BBC director general Mark Thompson said in August that he was committed to reducing the management bill, promising “simpler structures, fewer layers, fewer management boards”.

According to the BBC’s own accounts Byford currently receives a salary of £475,000 a year and has a total remuneration package worth £488,000. He is expected to get a payoff of up to £900m. Last year he had his bonuses suspended, along with others on the BBC board.

Sharon Baylay, head of marketing and communications, and Lucy Adams, human resources director, are also expected to leave the board, retaining their roles but reporting to Caroline Thomson, the chief operating officer. A third member of the board may follow. The BBC refused to comment