Charity chief executive Tony Hall named as new BBC director general

Lord Hall, a crossbench peer, has been leader of the Royal Opera House since 2001

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

The BBC has named Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, as its new director general.

Lord Hall, who has been a crossbench peer since 2010 and has been head of the charity since 2001, will take up the new role in March.

He spent 28 years at the BBC and was its head of news and current affairs from 1996 to 2001. He joined the opera house after being beaten to the director general post at the BBC by Greg Dyke.

Simon Robey, chair of the Royal Opera House, said Hall had been a "tremendous and inspiring force for good" and was not surprised the BBC had asked him to take up the role.

"They see, as we do, his qualities of leadership and his depth of relevant experience. I can think of nobody better able to bring stability back to the BBC," said Robey.

Kasper Holten, director of opera at the ROH, said Hall was "the most inspirational leader I have ever worked for".

"Tony's importance for the Royal Opera House cannot be overestimated and he has managed to create an incredible platform for us to do our artistic work and take opera forward."

Hall, who will be paid £450,000 a year in his new role, comes from an organisation that pays some of the voluntary sector’s largest salaries. The opera house’s accounts for the year to the end of August 2011 show that Hall was paid £392,361.

Sir Antonio Pappano, music director at the Royal Opera House, was paid £741,403 in the same year and Dame Monica Mason, the former director of the Royal Ballet who retired earlier this year, received £166,858.  The Royal Opera House had an income of £112m during the year.

Hall was educated at Birkenhead School and Keble College, Oxford and has been on the board of the British Council since 2008.

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