Feeds

BBC Technology chief sacked for ‘misusing hospitality’

Multi-million pound IT division still seeking a buyer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The managing director of the BBC's IT arm, Ann Wilson, has been sacked with immediate effect for "misusing hospitality", despite currently overseeing the multi-million-pound sale of the division to the world's biggest technology companies.

The decision came following discplinary proceedings, and staff were informed on Tuesday. A memo sent out to BBC Technology staff by Mark Byford - who is acting director general after Greg Dyke's resignation following the Hutton Inquiry fall-out - explained that Ms Wilson had been dismissed for "the misuse of hospitality".

A BBC spokeswoman today confirmed Ms Wilson's dismissal.

Despite an assertion that the matter was unrelated to the impending sale of BBC Technology - expected to go for more than £100 million - the fact that misusing hospitality has been publicly given as the reason for Ms Wilson's dismissal is highly unusual, and has been recognised as such by the media organisation.

"There is no connection at all between Ann Wilson being dismissed and the sale and procurement of BBC Technology," the corporation said, stressing that the BBC's CTO, John Varney, had always been in overall charge of the division's sell-off.

Nine companies that have expressed an interest in BBC Technology: IBM, HP, Fujitsu, EDS, Siemens, Capita, Accenture, CSC and Logica.

The sale of BBC Technology, announced in November last year, was already controversial, with the division's 1,400 staff fearing massive job losses would follow the sale. However, the BBC had admitted it couldn't cope with larger companies such as IBM and EDS, and estimated that outsourcing its IT needs rather than continuing the monopoly that BBC Technology enjoys could save it £30 million a year.

With the division's internationally recognised expertise, impressive infrastructure, and with BBC contracts worth several billion over time a virtual certainty, companies have been desperate to get their foot in the door. A shortlist of bidders will be drawn up at the end of April and a final decision made in late autumn, a spokesman told us.

Ms Wilson was brought in to head up the division in August 2002 and put in charge of commercially promoting the division's products across the world. She came from the position of COO at management consulting firm Arthur D Little and had previously worked for Phillips and IBM.

The BBC will not explain what hospitality she allegedly misused, and whose it was, but rumours are that transatlantic trips played an important role in the decision to fire her.

The BBC said it would look for a replacement for Ms Wilson in the next few weeks. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.