Television

ABC names Google's Michelle Guthrie as managing director

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MUMBAI: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has named Michelle Guthrie as the company’s managing director.

Guthrie will succeed Mark Scott and will assume her new role in May 2016.

ABC chairman James Spigelman said Guthrie is ideally credentialed to lead the national broadcaster in the digital era.

“The ABC Board made this appointment following a thorough local and international search that produced an outstanding field of candidates. Michelle is an exceptional media professional with strong content, operational and board experience within internationally-respected media companies. Michelle brings a unique local and global view to the role, having grown up in Sydney and worked at senior levels here and around the world. She brings to the ABC her business acumen, record in content-making across an array of platforms, a deep understanding of audience needs and corporate responsibility for promoting issues like diversity.”

“We have no doubt she is the right person to succeed Mark Scott next year and to lead the Corporation in its broadcasting and digital work as both are defined by the ABC Charter,” he added.

Guthrie will officially join the ABC in early April for a month-long handover with Scott. Within the guidelines set by the Remuneration Tribunal, Guthrie will receive a salary package of $900,000pa. As managing director, Guthrie will retain ultimate responsibility for all editorial content, as specified in the ABC Act.

Guthrie said it was an honour to be chosen by the ABC Board to serve as the next managing director. “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 said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the leadership provided by Mark Scott during his tenure as managing director. It is fortunate that I will be able to work closely with him during the handover next year,” she added.

Guthrie has been based in Singapore in the past few years in a senior executive role with Google.

She began her career as a media lawyer in Sydney and has worked with a range of media companies in Australia and abroad, including Foxtel, BSkyB, and the Asian-based Star Television Network. In 2007, she was appointed managing director for Providence Equity, a global investment firm focused on media, entertainment, communications and technology.

She joined Google in 2011 and is currently the firm’s managing director for Agencies in the Asia-Pacific. Guthrie has played a key role in the development of broadcasting channels and content strategies across a range of platforms, including Star’s 24-hour news channel in India with its complex stakeholder base and huge audience.

She has held a number of non-executive positions in commercial and not-for-profit organisations. She was instrumental in setting up the Hong Kong office of Plan International to drive global donations for children’s development projects and programs in mainland China and other Asian nations.

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