Matthew Postgate BBC

BBC business technology leader Matthew Postgate has been given a new remit.

Postgate is now leading a new division that sees BBC Digital, Engineering and the Worldwide technology teams consolidate into a single division. Today’s announcement follows other cost cutting measures this week at the national media organisation, including its decision to cut Formula One motor racing from its sports schedule before the contract expires.

In a statement the BBC said Postgate’s new department and remit is global and the veteran of 12 years at the BBC will lead the broadcaster’s digital strategy and technology operations. As CTO Postgate will be responsible for technology that delivers the BBC’s on-air products, its online titles and back office operations.

The new role takes effect immediately and the BBC says by April Postgate will have consolidated the technology departments.

The CTO will initially reports in to the Managing Director Finance and Operations before reporting to the Director General in 2016 as a member of Executive team.

“I am helping to integrate the BBC’s digital and technology divisions, and to make the BBC truly internet-fit for the future,” Postgate said in a statement.

Anne Bulford, who joined the BBC in 2013 from Channel 4 and is Managing Director for Finance and Operations said in a statement: “Matthew is an outstanding leader and technologist who has been a key part of the BBC’s Digital and Engineering teams for the past 12 years. Matthew will help to build a BBC with digital at its heart, and I wish him every success in his new role.”

Postgate is currently leading the BBC’s Engineering division. Postgate was part of the management team that launched BBC iPlayer and was in charge of BBC mobile, where he was responsible for building the corporation's world leading mobile services.

Prior to his current role, Postgate was Controller, BBC Research & Development and a Director of YouView Ltd, a BBC joint venture with other broadcasting organisations. The merger of the BBC’s Digital, Engineering and Worldwide technology teams and the creation of this new role will result in the closure of the current CTO role leading BBC Engineering, as well as the role of Director, BBC Digital.

Postgate’s new role is part of a growing trend this title has seen with the CTO role becoming increasingly important, especially in organisations that will rely on technology as the key delivery mechanism for their business model. CIO 100 panelist and former easyJet CIO Trevor Didcock says he is seeing a resurgence of the CTO role.

Media and telecoms organisations have tended to place the CTO role at the forefront of their business technology leadership structure and this latest strategy by the BBC, although primarily about consolidation and cost control of its technology teams, demonstrates the BBC too is putting a CTO at its heart.

John Linwood was CTO of the BBC until July 2013 when he was ousted from his post for the failings of the Digital Media Initiative a £100 million digital asset management platform project that failed to deliver. In August 2014 Linwood won a case against the BBC that he was unfairly dismissed by the organisation. The inquest found unprofessional behaviour by Linwood’s peers and backed the CTO who is now in the energy sector. Read more about Linwood and the BBC here.