The BBC has announced Matthew Postgate as its new CTO, replacing ousted John Linwood who lost his job in July last year over the failed Digital Media Initiative.
Postgate will report to managing director of finance and operations Anne Bulford, and will be responsible for delivering the BBC’s technology strategy “in a role which encompasses the delivery and management of broadcast and enterprise technology infrastructure, as well as the corporation’s IT requirements”.
Postgate said: “It’s been a huge honour for me to lead a number of teams within BBC Future Media. They are the best in the business and leaders in their field, just look at the BBC’s World Cup UHD trials, but opportunities like this are rare and I didn’t want it to pass me by. I look forward to working with my new colleagues in Technology.”
Matthew is currently the BBC’s Controller of R&D where he is responsible for a number of teams working on innovation, internet technologies and operations including the team that will deliver the world’s first UHD broadcasts over the internet, and will start as CTO on July 28.
Bulford said: “Matthew knows technology, he knows the BBC and he knows how crucial this role is for the BBC. He has all the qualities needed to excel in this position and I know he will bring innovation, expertise and value to the BBC. I would also like to thank Peter Coles for his excellent stewardship of the team over the year as interim CTO.”
The BBC confirmed in January this year that Linwood, suspended in May 2013 following the write-down of £100 million worth of assets, had been fired two months later but that news of his dismissal had been delayed for legal reasons while a Public Accounts Committee hearing took place, which was followed by an employment tribunal.
In front of MPs Linwood hit back at the BBC during the PAC hearing, telling the committee that his department delivered “a substantial amount of the DMI technology”, but that changes in board level responsibility and the perpetual moving of the goal posts and changing specifications by the DMI Steering Group caused the failure of the project.
In April PAC chair Margaret Hodge’s report concluded that “no single individual had overall responsibility or accountability” for delivering failed £100 million Digital Media Initiative”.