Ofcom appoints Dame Melanie Dawes as chief executive

The Ofcom Board has announced the appointment of Dame Melanie Dawes as chief executive. It has also said Lord Burns, its chairman, will step down by the end of the year.

Dawes was rumoured to have been selected by Ofcom back in November, but her appointment could not be confirmed until after the new government was formed due to the culture secretary needing to formalise it. She will take up her new position in early March.

Ofcom’s remit is expanding, with the organisation to also regulate new online harm laws. The culture secretary has indicated that the Government would like a new chair to be in place to oversee those changes in full, so Lord Burns has agreed to step down. He will stay on until the new chair is in place.

Lord Burns, Ofcom’s chairman, said, “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has approved Ofcom’s appointment of Dame Melanie Dawes as the next chief executive of Ofcom. The Government’s statement that it is minded to appoint Ofcom as the regulator for online harms is a vote of confidence in Ofcom’s expertise. I know Melanie will do a fantastic job of leading the organisation and maintaining its strengths.

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