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BBC execs hunted for dirt on Linwood as COO orchestrated campaign to blame CTO

Edward Qualtrough | Aug. 11, 2014
BBC executives agreed to leave John Linwood 'spinning in the wind' and trawled through material intended to unearth as much dirt on the sacked CTO as they could find, a tribunal said as it ruled Linwood was unfairly dismissed by the broadcaster.

'Not solely accountable'

Peter O'Kane, DMI Programme Director, also stated in Linwood's initial disciplinary in July 2013 that other members of the Steering Group were equally accountable.

"He stated that, in reading the business case for the BBC in 2010, each of the major components could have been bought from the market but 'it was because the BBC wanted to put their own wrapper around the solution that we are here today'."

Discussing the failed project at the disciplinary, O'Kane said that as a member of the Steering Group Linwood was "responsible for calling it out but that he is not solely responsible".

O'Kane finished his interview by saying he felt the process was "trying to lay the blame on a single person. John does have significant responsibility but he is not the sole person responsible."

Pat Younge announced his resignation as Chief Creative Officer for Vision in July 2013 and left the BBC in January 2014 as other BBC executives lined up to lay the blame for DMI on Linwood at the PAC hearing, while Coles announced last month he will join US-based pay-TV giant Discovery Networks after almost two decades at the BBC.

Linwood's suspension was announced internally at the BBC on May 24, 2013, and four days later the CTO who oversaw the London 2012 Olympic Games had the offer of senior technology post withdrawn in the light of the adverse publicity.


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