Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, is to retire from the BBC in spring next year.
The first female Director of BBC Sport, Slater has held the post for the past 14 years.
A former international gymnast and Olympian, Barbara joined the BBC in 1983 as a trainee assistant producer in the Natural History Unit before moving into BBC Sport, specialising in outside broadcasts and overseeing the production of a range of sports including tennis and golf. After promotions to roles including Head of Production and then Head of General Sports, she was appointed to Director of Sport in April 2009.
Slater was awarded the OBE in 2014 for services to sport broadcasting and other awards include the Women in TV and film Inspirational Women prize in 2012 following the BBC’s successful broadcast of the London Olympics - the biggest TV event in British broadcasting history.
Slater is credited with changing attitudes and increasing the profile and interest of women’s sport and has overseen the production of 14 Men’s and Women’s Football World Cups and European Championships, seven summer and Winter Olympic Games, including London 2012 plus Wimbledon, the Six Nations and Match of the Day.
Slater said: “It was this week 40 years ago that I first walked through the doors at Broadcasting House. A career in BBC Sport has been an absolute passion, never just a job. Since joining in 1983 I’ve been privileged to have had such amazing opportunities and the delight of working with such talented colleagues and partners. There are a huge number of people to thank, and so many magical memories to reflect upon.”
Tim Davie, Director-General, said: “Barbara has had an extraordinary career at the BBC - a pioneer, innovator and outstanding leader - she has kept the BBC at the forefront of sport for a generation. I wish her well. She will leave the BBC with a tremendous legacy.”
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content officer, said: “Barbara has had an extraordinary career at the BBC and leaves a legacy few will ever be able to replicate. She is a much-respected leader, a real trailblazer for women in the industry who can proudly say she has inspired the next generation.”