Ofcom has named Sharon White, currently second permanent secretary at HM Treasury, as its new chief executive. She will take over from Ed Richards, who announced his intention to step down at the end of the year in October 2014.
White will move to Ofcom in March 2015 following a three-month break during which Ofcom’s director of strategy, international, technology and economist group, Steve Unger, will hold the post of acting chief executive.
In her current role, White is the lead official responsible for managing the UK’s public finances, a job she has been doing since November 2013, prior to which she served as director general of public spending at the Treasury.
White is an economics graduate of Cambridge and has 25 years of experience in the public sector. Her career has taken her to the British Embassy in Washington DC, where she analysed US welfare reforms before working in a similar capacity at the Downing Street Policy Unit; to the World Bank, where she worked on international development; followed by a spell as policy director at the Department for International Development.
"Sharon brings with her an outstanding combination of intellect, political acumen and experience leading complex public organisations,” said Ofcom chairman Patricia Hodgson.
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"The Ofcom Board is confident that Sharon will provide the leadership and vision to ensure Ofcom continues to promote a thriving communications sector in the UK that operates in the public interest."
White said: "The communications sector is vital to the economy and delivers essential services to everyone in the UK. I look forward to starting in this fascinating job and building on Ofcom's considerable track record."
Her appointment will be subject to approval by the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Sajid Javid.