Ofcom’s chief executive Sharon White is set to step down to become the chairman of the John Lewis retail group.
The broadcast regulator announced White’s departure this afternoon, four years after she joined the body.
Ofcom said it will now begin the process to find a replacement chief executive, adding that White is due to leave at the end of the year.
White said: “It’s been a huge privilege to lead Ofcom at a time when reliable, affordable communications have become essential. I will leave behind an organisation that is dedicated in its mission to make communications work for everyone.”
Ofcom chairman Lord Burns added: “Sharon has been an outstanding chief executive for Ofcom and will be missed by the whole organisation.”
Under White Ofcom became the first independent regulator of the BBC.
During her time at the helm the regulator raised concerns about media plurality over Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox’s bid for a controlling stake in Sky, eventually won by US giant Comcast.
It also ruled that RT, formerly Russia Today, broke broadcasting impartiality rules in its coverage of the Salisbury poisoning last year, prompting the Kremlin-backed broadcaster to threaten to take Ofcom to court.
White is leaving the regulator after it announced investigations into the BBC’s online output and the international arm of China’s state broadcaster earlier this year.