Newsnight editor Peter Barron is to leave the BBC at the end of the week to become UK head of public relations for Google.
“Google is the most interesting and exciting company of my lifetime and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work there,” Barron said.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of editing Newsnight and will miss the fantastic team here, and I’m hugely looking forward to this new challenge.”
Barron will be head of communications and public affairs for the UK, Ireland and the Benelux countries, reporting to Google’s European head of corporate commications, DJ Collins.
“He has a wealth of experience and will be a great addition to our team. He has a wealth of experience and will be a great addition to our team,” Collins said.
BBC director of news Helen Boaden said: “We are very sorry to lose Peter whose creativity and brilliant journalism have made Newsnight so impressive over the last few years. However this is a unique opportunity for him and we wish him well as he moves to Google.”
Newsnight deputy editor Jasmin Buttar will head the programme while the BBC appoints a permanent replacement, a BBC spokeswoman said.
Barron has been editor of Newsnight since June of 2004. He was previously a Newsnight producer, deputy editor of Channel 4 News, and editor of ITV’s Tonight With Trevor McDonald.