BBC's Deputy Director-General and Highest Ranking Female Exec to Step Down

BBC headquarters

BBC headquarters

Anne Bulford is leaving the broadcaster to pursue nonexecutive roles.

Anne Bulford, the BBC's first ever female deputy director-general, will leave her role this spring.

The news was announced Thursday, with Bulford set to depart the BBC to pursue a portfolio of nonexecutive roles.

Bulford was promoted from head of finance to the deputy director-general position in July 2016, making her the most senior female executive in the broadcaster's history. Many tipped her to succeed Tony Hall and become the BBC's first female director-general.

"Anne has been an inspirational leader," said Hall. "She has brought real insight and determination in bringing change to the BBC. Her achievements at the BBC are many — she has ensured the BBC continues to innovate and deliver hugely popular services to the public. She has vastly improved the BBC's efficiency to industry-leading levels. She has led a transformation in the BBC's working practices."

The BBC has said it will set out the next steps for her post in due course.