The BBC has appointed Sharon Baylay as director of marketing, communications and audiences.
Baylay’s last position was general manager of Microsoft’s online services divisions. She will join the BBC executive board and takes over the responsibilities handled by Tim Davie. He was promoted to director of audio and music last June.
Baylay (pictured) will lead a team of more than 400 staff responsible for marketing, communications, audience reserach and audience services.
She joined Microsoft in 1993 and has held a range of marketing and management roles, running he international MSN businesses in EMEA, Asia pacific, Greater China and the Americas.
She began her career at Olivetti and Computacentre, working on IBM, Apple and Compaq.
Her appointment follows a turbulent period for the BBC brand in the wake of the scandal surrounding comments by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on the former’s BBC2 radio show.
However, she arrives at the BBC just as commercial rival ITV is in disarray and facing drastically falling advertising revenues. ITV recently called in Boston Consulting Group to examine where it might cuts costs and improve efficiencies.
An announcement is expected on March 4 when ITV gives full year results and a sell off of Friends Reunited is anticipated.