BBC loses head of IP after shake-up announcement

A BBC management shake-up has led to the departure of the broadcaster’s head of the intellectual property and litigation department.

Fred Croft, who was also responsible for commercial, programme and regulatory legal matters, says that the recently announced internal reorganisation at London’s Television Centre acted as a catalyst in his decision to leave the BBC and return to government service.

A spokesperson for the BBC says: “The new director general at the BBC intends to run things differently from the old one and he has laid out his vision for the BBC, so there have been changes and there are going to be more changes.

“But it was entirely Fred’s decision to leave.”

Before Croft joined the legal division in 1998, he was head of legal at the Department for Education and Employment.

He says: “I have always seen my long-term future in the public sector. I am proud to have worked for the BBC and to have had the privilege of leading such a highly talented and professional team.”

BBC human resources director Gareth Jones says: “I’d like to thank him warmly for his help and advice during his time and wish him every success in the future.”

Pending Croft’s full-time replacement, head of litigation Sarah Jones will act as legal adviser.

According to the BBC press office, the division incorporating legal advice on programming, litigation, IP, regulators and corporate commercial is to form part of the new public policy division.

The legal and business affairs departments in broadcasting and production have been brought together in the new finance, property and business affairs division. There is no change to the legal departments in World Service or BBC Worldwide.

Hundreds of BBC staff are to lose their jobs as part of director general Greg Dyke’s shake-up to slash management costs and free up to £100m a year for programme-making.

The number of internally-trading business units is to be cut from 190 to 50, though it is not clear how many people will lose their jobs.