U.K.'s Channel 4 Says CEO David Abraham to Step Down by Year's End

Channel 4 headquarters London - H 2017
Courtesy of Channel 4

The company says he will "launch a media enterprise in 2018."

British broadcaster Channel 4 on Tuesday tweeted that CEO David Abraham would leave his post later in the year.

The tweet seems to have been sent by accident from a Channel 4 press account, but the company later confirmed his departure.

"Channel 4’s chief executive David Abraham today announced that he intends to step down from his role by the end of 2017 in order to develop personal plans to launch a media enterprise in 2018," it said. "David will remain in role until a new chief executive has been appointed and is in post."

Abraham has led Channel 4 since May 2010 after serving as CEO of UKTV. Under his leadership, Channel 4 has looked for co-productions with U.S. partners, invested in startups and last year reported a company record for revenue at £979 million, or $1.2 billion.

Channel 4 is owned by the U.K. government, but is commercially independent. The government has been looking at possible privatization though. 

Channel 4 chair Charles Gurassa said that Abraham "leaves the organization in excellent creative and financial health and with a strong and highly experienced team in place." He added: "My colleagues on the board and I will be undertaking a comprehensive recruitment process over the next months to ensure that Channel 4 continues to have outstanding leadership into the future."

Abraham himself said: “I had three priorities when I joined Channel 4 in 2010: to build an independently sustainable business while still delivering strongly to our public remit; to assemble a team capable of delivering creative renewal post Big Brother; and to become world leaders in digital and data innovation. After several successive years of positive momentum and with revenues now of circa £1 billion, investment in content of £700 million ($850 million) and sustained creative performance, I have decided that 2017 is the right year for me to hand over this important public job to my successor."