Sir Bob Phillis dies, aged 64

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Sir Bob Phillis, former deputy director general of the BBC and chief executive of the Guardian Media Group, died today at the age of 64, reports the BBC.

Phillis, who also worked as chief executive of ITN and was president of the Royal Television Society, passed away this morning after suffering from cancer. Phillis left ITN to join the BBC in 1993. He then left to work for the Guardian in 1997, retiring in 2006 after being diagnosed with early-stage bone marrow cancer.

“Bob worked tirelessly for Guardian Media Group, full of experience, good humour, determination and a steady flow of wisdom,” said Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief.

“He was widely liked and respected and succeeded both in focusing GMG on its core purpose and skillfully diversifying its portfolio. The Guardian has lost a good friend.”

Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director general, said: “Bob Phillis made an enormous contribution to British media, in particular at the Guardian Media Group, commercial television and at the BBC. He will be remembered as an inspirational leader but also as a warm-hearted, loyal, friend and colleague. We will miss him enormously.”

Phillis was also president of the Royal Television Society, at whose convention in Cambridge in September he was warmly applauded by fellow delegates aware of his struggle with ill health.

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