Sharon White, CEO of UK communications regulator Ofcom, is leaving her role near the end of the year to become chairman of retail conglomerate The John Lewis Partnership.
White joined Ofcom in March 2015 from HM Treasury, where she held the title of Second Permanent Secretary. The HM Treasury serves as the British government department responsible for developing and executing the government’s public finance and economic policies.
White oversaw the British broadcast regulator during a period of rapid transition in the media landscape. Under her purview, Ofcom oversaw the sale of European pay-TV operator Sky and became the first external, independent regulator of UK pubcaster BBC.
The Ofcom board will now begin the process to appoint a successor. The appointment will be subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
“Sharon has been an outstanding chief executive for Ofcom and will be missed by the whole organization,” said Ofcom chairman Lord Burns in a statement. “Under Sharon’s leadership, Ofcom has helped to deliver ultrafast broadband, widespread 4G mobile and now 5G, and became the first independent regulator of the BBC. She leaves Ofcom as a regulator with a relentless focus on the consumer interest; making sure people and businesses can get the best out of their communications services.”
“It’s been a huge privilege to lead Ofcom at a time when reliable, affordable communications have become essential. I will leave behind an organization that is dedicated in its mission to make communications work for everyone,” added White.