Google exec Michelle Guthrie to head up Australia’s ABC
21 December 2015
- From the section Business
Google executive Michelle Guthrie has been hired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to replace Mark Scott as its managing director.
It is the first time the broadcaster has hired a woman for the position.
Ms Guthrie joined Google in 2011 and is currently working in the technology giant’s offices in Singapore.
ABC said her experience included working with various media firms, including Foxtel, BskyB and Star.
The former media lawyer is set to take over from Mark Scott in April.
Mr Scott, who has headed up ABC since 2006, announced his departure earlier this year. He was responsible for introducing News 24 to the ABC and oversaw a large range of big cuts to the broadcaster’s budget.
Behind the role
Ms Guthrie’s role as managing director will see her become a part of the broadcaster’s board, and will include the role of the ABC’s editor-in-chief.
This is despite suggestions made last year by the country’s then-communications minister, now prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, that editor-in-chief responsibilities should no longer be a part of the position.
His comments came as a result of allegations of bias at ABC.
“It creates the impression that the managing director is directly in charge of ABC News and Current Affairs which he is not, and given the wide range of his responsibilities, could not be,” Mr Turnbull said. last year.
He suggested an editor in chief should report to the board, rather than be a part of it.
Local reports said Ms Guthrie’s salary package would amount to 900,000 Australian dollars ($644,767; £432,520) – an increase from Mr Scott’s A$823,613.
“The ABC board made this appointment following a thorough local and international search that produced an outstanding field of candidates,” ABC chairman James Spigelman said.
Ms Guthrie, who is Australian, said she was thrilled to be a part of ABC, which she described as a true independent public broadcaster.
“Having grown up with the ABC and having been a professional observer of it over the last three decades, I have profound respect for the important role the national broadcaster plays throughout Australia and internationally,” she told the ABC’s News 24 program.
This post was written by FSB News