BBC announce the departure of their Director General

In a letter to staff at the BBC Mark Thompson announced his departure from the company.

This morning he told Lord Patten (the Chair of the BBC Trust) that he would be stepping down from his position. He will stay on at the broadcaster until the end of the summer. This allows him time to spend with the BBC during its "amazing" sporting summer. The BBC will be the home broadcasters for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He hopes this early departure will allow his successor to be ready for the BBC's Charter Review before its process begins.

During his time at the company he became the longest serving director general since the 1970s.

Commenting on the BBC's work he stated "It’s because of your efforts that the BBC I will be leaving it so much stronger than the BBC I inherited back in 2004. Trust and approval are at record highs, our services are in brilliant creative form and we’ve demonstrated beyond contradiction that the BBC can be just as much of a leader and innovator in the digital age as we once were in the analogue one. Now more than ever, to audiences at home and abroad the BBC is the best broadcaster in the world. It’s been a great privilege helping you to keep the BBC in that top spot over the past eight years."