back to article Ofcom's new broom Sharon White sweeps into office

Communications watchdog Ofcom confirmed this morning that it has found a replacement for outgoing chief Ed Richards. Sharon White will head up the regulator from late March, on an annual salary of £275,000, after she ends her senior role at the Treasury. White currently serves as Second Permanent Secretary of the Finance …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge
    Trollface

    First job

    To do absolutely nothing to stop BT's monopoly getting bigger.

    If she achieves this, then she'll have done a grand job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First job

      "To do absolutely nothing to stop BT's monopoly getting bigger."

      If a monopoly can get bigger, it can't be a monopoly surely?

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: First job

        A monopoly can use its monopolistic position in one industry to increase in size in another industry.

        Like, I dunno, using your vast revenues to buy up footie rights and bundling them with your internet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: First job

        That's easy, get Virgin to open up their networks to other suppliers.

  2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm glad she's an economist...

    I'm glad she's an economist... hopefully Ofcom will start to formulate policy based on maximising the economic benefit to the country rather than money to government coffers.

    Here's hoping at least. Can we have a 'fingers crossed' icon please?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm glad she's an economist...

      She's also a career civil servant, who as far as I can tell has never worked in the private sector.

      And she's part of that clique of intellectual titans that wrote and believe the "business cases" for such misguided nonsense like HS2 or smart meters.

      I'd say she'll fit right in at the shambolic, ineffectual mess that is OFCOM.

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I'm glad she's an economist...

      "I'm glad she's an economist... hopefully Ofcom will start to formulate policy based on maximising the economic benefit to the country rather than money to government coffers."

      Did you miss when you aimed to click on this icon? -->

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I think we should be told.

    These canned statements of which you write - are they ring pulls, wind-up keys like corned beef or do you need a tin-opener?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think we should be told.

      In this case it's more like a fortune cookie:

      "You will inherit obscenely well paid new job, no responsibility!"

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: I think we should be told.

        don't forget the gong/life peerage at the end of it.

  4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    But...

    ...does she know what IPv6 is?

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: But...

      Why wouldn't she?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        "Why wouldn't she?"

        As far as I can see, no other senior civil servant does, so the odds are not good.

        And her background is flipping between different departments and assignments. So chances are she's like the other civil service mandarins - never done anything useful, never worked in a real job, and never even stayed long enough in one place to understand any area of government.

        Apart from that, having an Oxford degree in economics I'm sure she's absolutely on top of IPv6, spectrum licensing, effectively regulating Openreach, mobile consolidation, broadband competition, mobile asset sharing, 4G, TV multiplexes, privacy and IoT, not to mention all the issues of being the regulator of the postal service.

        What do you think?

        1. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen
          Stop

          Re: But...

          Don't base your opinion of all civil servants on the people you see as mouthpieces. There are plenty of clued up, smart, savvy people in the civil service. It may seem like an easy target but that shows a general lack of appreciation for what it's really like.

          Having worked in both the private and public sectors, it seems that the idiot quotient is similar in both spheres. Nobody has a monopoly on stupid. I can also tell you that working in the public sector is a real job. I have never been so stressed, overworked and under-resourced to deliver a massive work programme as when I was at a large public service organisation. Much worse than my time in the utilities, FMCG, financial services or consulting firms I have worked for.

          As a regulator, you need to understand *more than anything* the long term social and economic impacts of the decisions you make. She will need to surround herself with boffins that know all the technical things you've noted. That and some good lawyers.

          I'd say the fact that she has gained a degree from Oxford will mean that she is capable of quickly learning what is important and getting her head around it to sufficient levels of detail to know what matters, as long as her boffins are sufficiently capable. I suspect that may be her biggest challenge...

          1. Frankee Llonnygog

            Re: But...

            Exactly. I suspect she is smarter than most of us commentards

          2. dogged

            Re: But...

            > There are plenty of clued up, smart, savvy people in the civil service

            Kept on display in a disused basement toilet with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard"?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But...

          "having an Oxford degree in economics"

          Does she?

          I've found signs she went to Cambridge to study economics.

          That's a whole lot more promising than going to Oxford to do PPE, which is where most of our 'leading' politicians learnt the ropes. And look where that's got us.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: But...

            I suspect 'Oxford' is being used as a wind up, all the evidence points to Cambridge (http://www.awards.civilserviceworld.com/diversity-and-equality-awards/judges/11-civil-service-world-awards/diversity-and-equality-awards/diversity-and-equality-awards-2013/judges-2013/29-sharon-white)

        3. Yugguy

          Re: But...

          I think I would.

  5. Anonymous Coward
  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Doesn't look like she is able to read

    Not with the hair done like that...

    And 275k? FFS...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

      "275k? FFS..."

      Well quite,

      The limited vision will presumably make it easier when it comes to being unable to see blatant misbehaviour from outfits like BT at one end, and at the other end outfits like the "independent local radio" companies who these days are neither independent nor local nor in compliance with their licences, and so on. After all, as a committed Christian, there are certain moral rules she will want to abide by.

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

      Really? Please explain

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

        Explain what?

        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

          Please explain why she looks like she is unable to read. I don't get it.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

            Because her hair gets in the way, so she can't see anything...

            1. Frankee Llonnygog

              Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

              No, one eye still uncovered. Can't be that.

              1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

                Well, I have to read a lot of boring crap all the time in the office and I would have gone mad if I had to do it using only one eye. Maybe she is more resillient than I, or I fear for her eyesight and mental state, or the job specs for that position do not include a lot of reading...

                1. Frankee Llonnygog

                  Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

                  I attended a presentation she gave the other day - i think it's safe to say she can read. I haven't had the same direct experience with other Ofcom heads but I wouldn't be surprised if she went through Ofcom like a dose of salts

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

      Well I think she looks friendy and approachable!

  7. Roger Kynaston

    Good luck to her

    I do hope that she has the hide of a rhinocerous though. Everyone hates the regulator, probably even more than the IT types since they tell us IT types that we can't do it either.

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