Colette Bowe, who chaired Ofcom's Consumer Panel from its inception in 2003 to December 2007, is to replace David Currie as chairman of Ofcom.
Her appointment, which must be ratified by parliament, caps a long career in Whitehall and the banking sector. She was the source of a leaked memorandum that ultimately led to the resignation of two of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet ministers, Leo Brittan and Michael Heseltine, over the Westland helicopter scandal in the mid-1980s.
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Earlier, Bowe called for internet service providers (ISPs) to be clearer about the speeds their customers sign up for. She said ISPs should refer to actual speeds achieved rather than headline speeds.
She was the founding chairman of the Telecoms Ombudsman Council and previously worked at the Department of Trade and Industry, the Independent Broadcasting Authority, the Securities and Investment Board, and was chief executive of the Personal Investment Authority and executive chairman of Fleming Funds Management.
She is on the board of Axa Framlington, Morgan Stanley Bank International, Electra Private Equity plc and London and Continental Railways, Queen Mary College, London, and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. She has been a member of the Ofcom Board since January 2008 and is a member of the Ofcom audit committee.