Former Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire was appointed today as chairman of Channel 4, Ofcome announced.
The 62-year-old retail former executive will join the broadcaster’s board on 11 April, succeeding media executive Dawn Airey.
Interviewed for the post in late February, Cheshire went against Rita Clifton, who ran Interbrand and now sits on the board of household names such as John Lewis and Nationwide, City A.M. reported.
“I am excited to be joining Channel 4 at this vitally important time for public service broadcasting,” Cheshire said. “As it transforms for a new era of media consumption, I look forward to helping Channel 4 deliver for viewers right across the UK for many years to come.”
Sir Ian’s appointment come at a moment when Channel faces the prospect of privatisation, as the government has looked at selling the broadcaster to a private buyer over concerns about its survival in the world of streaming services.
In February, a group of senior MPs wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to “leave [Channel 4] alone.”
“[Channel 4] is self-sufficient and successful, making no drain on the public purse. It also plays a vital role in the broadcasting ecosystem, not least in commissioning programmes from more independent production companies, and more small independent production companies, than any other public service broadcaster,” the letter read.
Media secretary Nadine Dorris welcomed the news, while Ofcom’s interim chairwoman Maggie Carver called Cheshire’s appointment “terrific.”
“He has a distinguished track record in both public and private service, and will ensure the highest standards of governance and accountability as a hugely experienced chair of other major boards,” Carver said.