The BBC has actually made sweeping modifications to the board of BBC News, including making redundant the editorial director, Kamal Ahmed, leaving the corporation in breach of its own rules on minority ethnic representation.
Fran Unsworth, the director of BBC News, has actually cut the number of positions on the board from 11 to eight to “provide more worth and better show the method BBC News will operate in the future”.
Those to be made redundant under the restructure include Ahmed, the head of news output, Gavin Allen, and the head of existing affairs, Jo Carr. Ahmed, 53, who makes more than ₤ 200,000 a year, had actually been named as a prospective candidate to take over from Tony Hall as director general of the BBC.
” I wish to thank them for their exceptional contribution to BBC News to date and we are exploring future options for them,” stated Unsworth, in an email to BBC staff. “Modification is never ever easy but it is necessary to have this brand-new structure in place.”
The loss of Ahmed leaves the BBC News board without any BAME representative. In 2019, the corporation established a policy that all senior leadership groups ought to have at least two employee from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Unsworth stated: “The last membership of the BBC News board has not been announced. Two out the 8 posts– a quarter– are currently vacant.”
At the time of Ahmed’s promotion to the board, Unsworth stated he would “bring verve, aspiration and fresh editorial insight to the role and I’m thrilled he’s joining my leading group”.
In February last year, Ahmed returned a ₤ 12,000 fee he got for speaking at an event held by a Birmingham-based home developer, and apologised to associates after a reaction as the news division carried out staff cuts.
In January last year, the BBC stated it would cut 450 jobs from its news operation towards hitting a target of ₤ 80m in yearly savings by 2022. Nevertheless, the effect of the pandemic on the corporation’s financial resources has actually led to an additional 70 jobs being added to the overall to be cut.
Ahmed signed up with the BBC in 2014 as business editor and has actually also held the role of economics editor. He formerly worked at the Telegraph and Observer.