Alan Yentob, creative director of the BBC, is stepping down from his position at the UK pubcaster at year’s end.
His exit follows accusations that the exec influenced the BBC’s reporting on now-closed UK charity Kids Company, for which Yentob served as chairman. The charity shut its doors in August amidst allegations of financial mismanagement. The organization has said it closed due to funding problems.
In an interview with Channel 4 News in August, Yentob denied any conflict of interest and said he was “not remotely considering” resigning over his involvement with the charity.
In a statement released today (December 3), the exec said, “Speculation about Kids Company and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction.
“I have spoken to Tony Hall and told him that I think it best that I step down from my senior management role as creative director at the end of this year and focus on program-making and TV production – including of course the Imagine series. I will also continue supporting Christine Langan and her team as chairman of BBC Films.”
Hall added that Yentob is a “towering figure in television, the arts and a creative force for good for Britain.
“For the record, BBC News considered whether Alan Yentob had influenced the BBC’s journalism on the reporting of Kids Company. They concluded that he did not,” continued Hall. “Despite that, I understand his reasons for stepping down as creative director. He has been thinking about this carefully for some time and we have discussed it privately on a number of occasions. I am pleased that Alan will be continuing his brilliant work as a program maker at the BBC in the future.”