UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has appointed EasyJet exec Charles Gurassa (pictured) as chairman of British pubcaster Channel 4, replacing former chairman of six years, Terry Burns.
Gurassa, who joins C4’s board on Thursday (January 28), has served as deputy chairman of the low-cost British airline carrier since 2011. He is also chair of the Genesis Housing Association and online brand protection company NetNames, as well as a senior independent director for Merlin Entertainments, which operates more than 120 attractions, hotels and holiday villages.
His appointment as chairman for a three-year term was approved by culture secretary John Whittingdale. Ofcom is required under the Broadcasting Act of 1990 to appoint non-executive members to the Channel 4 board, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.
Previously, Gurassa has served in a number of executive roles including CEO of Thomson Travel Group, executive chairman of TUI Northern Europe, chairman of Virgin Mobile and Lovefilm, and deputy chairman of the National Trust.
“Charles clearly brings a wealth of experience to the role from both the business world and his work in the charity and not-for-profit sectors,” said Channel 4 CEO David Abraham in a statement. “Having met and spoken at some length with Charles, I am confident that he will be an excellent champion of the values and purpose that sit at the heart of Channel 4.”
“I am delighted that we have appointed a chairman of Charles’ caliber to Channel 4,” added Ofcom chairman Patricia Hodgson. “He brings with him a wealth of experience built up across a broad range of sectors. I would also like to thank Lord Burns, Channel 4’s chairman for the past six years. He has made a tremendous contribution to the success of Channel 4.”