There was some surprise earlier this year when Richard Sharp was appointed Chairman of the BBC. This was perhaps because most people did not know who he was outside of the banking world . His professional profile was closely aligned with the outgoing Chairman Sir David Clementi. Aged 64 he has followed the conventional route of PPE at Oxford followed by a career in banking, most notably many years at Goldman Sachs. During his time at Goldman Sachs he had a close relationship with Rishi Sunak and was reportedly his boss. This relationship could prove significant and during the pandemic crisis Sharp was an Advisor to the Treasury. A donor to the Conservative party in the past he also has impressive credentials as far as the Arts is concerned. He was Chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts 2007 to 2012 and founded the charity London Music Masters. It is believed that he also played a prominent role in the £1.57bn arts rescue package, and the film and television production restart scheme. He is believed to be a shrewd negotiator, a skill which will be much needed by the BBC. Whilst there may be some who see Richard Sharp’s alliance to the Conservative party as a negative, it cannot be a bad thing if he uses his close relationships and influence with Government to support the BBC and is a positive influence on the BBC’s future path.
If you would like to know more about Richard Sharp’s views he recently gave a speech at RTS Cambridge in September. Read it here https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/speeches/2021/richard-sharp-rts-cambridge