Former Google director to take lead at DRCF
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:

The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) has announced a major appointment with the recruitment of former Google, Channel 4 and BBC director Gill Whitehead as its new chief executive.

Whitehead joins the regulator from Google’s UK Management Group, where she led on data science, analytics, measurement and user experience (UX) across EMEA. She will take charge of the DRCF’s efforts to ensure strong regulation of online services.

The DRCF was formed in July 2020 to harness the collective expertise of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom.

New chief executive Whitehead will take over from 15 November and work towards the DRCF’s work plan focussed on “making a step-change in how regulation is coordinated across digital and online services”.

Commenting on her new role, Whitehead said: “We’re at a critical juncture in establishing a digital regulatory framework that ensures UK citizens can benefit from the best that technology has to offer whilst being protected from the worst.

“We’re at a critical juncture in establishing a digital regulatory framework"

“I look forward to building a coherent and coordinated approach to digital regulation that is good for people using online services, and for business and innovation”.

Before joining Google in 2016, ICAEW fellow Whitehead spent eight years as a member of Channel 4’s executive team, where she created and led its data strategy and Audience Technologies & Insight Division.

Having started her career as an economist for the Bank of England and then Deloitte, Whitehead also holds non-executive roles at Informa, Camelot UK the operator of The National Lottery, and the British Olympic Association

Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom chief executive and chair of the DRCF, added: “I’m delighted to have Gill on board as the forum’s chief executive. Her expertise and insight will be invaluable as we shape the regulatory landscape for the UK’s digital economy. This will be a pivotal role in bringing us together to tackle our shared challenges and secure a safer life online for everyone.”

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