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BBC Scotland’s chief, Donalda Mackinnon is standing down from her role as its head at the end of this year after a career with the corporation spanning 33 years.

Speaking to staff at the BBC Studios in Pacific Quay, the BBC’s senior figure in Scotland said she believed that having ushered in the biggest ever programme investment here, including the launch of a new TV channel, the time is now right for her to pass on the Director’s baton.

Donalda MacKinnon says: “Reflecting back on all that we have achieved, and with complete certainty that we are in strong shape for the future, I’ve decided that this is the right time for me to stand down and allow a new leader to take you all to the next stage.”

“It has not been an easy decision for me to leave this job, a brilliant team and the best colleagues and friends I could have wished to have… but I am sure that this is the right moment for me and for all of us.”

The BBC’s Director General Tony Hall and Nations and Regions Director Ken MacQuarrie praised Donalda’s contribution to the BBC and wider creative industry.

Tony Hall says: “Donalda has been a hugely valued colleague and friend. She has achieved an enormous amount in her time at the BBC and been a passionate advocate both for the BBC in Scotland – and for Scotland’s interests inside the organisation.

“And beyond that, as a passionate advocate of diversity and inclusion, Donalda has used her warmth and openness to bring about changes to the whole organisation, designed to make the BBC a great place in which to work for women and all.

“We’ll miss her – but we wish her a very happy retirement.”

Ken MacQuarrie says: “Donalda’s passion for programme making, particularly from and about Scotland, has always shone in the many different parts of the BBC she’s worked in. She’s continued to champion this in both English language and Gaelic output in her role as Director of BBC Scotland, while also bringing her vision, empathy and a real resolve to pushing culture change within the organisation.”

Having had the privilege of many years of BBC service across a wide range of areas, Ms MacKinnon said she’d planned from the outset when taking on the Director’s role that she would leave this year when she turned 60.

Donalda MacKinnon says: “It will be a milestone year for me and I’m keen, for family and personal reasons, to get some time back.”

The search for a successor will begin immediately and Ms MacKinnon has said she will remain in post until the autumn to allow for a smooth handover.

Reflecting on her time in charge, she said that in addition to seeing increased programme investment and the addition of scores of new research and development jobs as Pacific Quay was earmarked as a BBC centre of excellence for technology, she’d been particularly proud of helping reshape the corporation’s culture and enhancing career progression for women.

Donalda MacKinnon says: “I am pleased to see real progress being made following my report on career progression and hope it will lead to lasting change for women at the BBC in the years to come.”