Ofcom clears Carter for ITV CEO post

Stephen Carter

Former Ofcom CEO Stephen Carter has been cleared to take up a top job in companies he once regulated. Carter was tipped as a possible replacement for Charles Allen weeks before Allen resigned as chief executive of ITV, though commercial rivals lobbied against Carter being considered for the post on the grounds that he might have been privy to commercially sensitive information about them.

Carter—who left the post at the end of July, three months earlier than originally planned—was put on "gardening leave" until the end of February 2007. Ofcom said it had examined information Carter had access to, and was satisfied that he should be allowed to work "in or for a regulated business" after that date.

"In reaching its decision—which followed a due diligence process to examine information to which Stephen Carter would have had access while in post—the Ofcom Board also took into account other benchmarks, notably the Cabinet Office guidelines for senior civil servants (in practice a gardening leave requirement of up to six months) and for other sectoral regulators (typically between three and six months)," said Ofcom.

"The Board believes this decision achieves the right balance between the contractual protection appropriate to the communications sector and the need to avoid the imposition of terms likely to disincentivise the future recruitment of executives with the necessary sectoral background and skills."

Other likely candidates tipped for the post are former BAA CEO Mike Clasper, now considered a frontrunner, and BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith. ITV is also understood to be interested in United International Pictures' UK chairman and chief executive Stewart Till.

ITV finance director John Cresswell takes over from Allen on an interim basis from October 1.

Lovelace Consulting  |  19.09.2006

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