Australia's public broadcaster just hired a Google executive as its new boss

ABC Brisbane headquarters in South Bank. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

Google executive Michelle Guthrie will take over from Mark Scott as managing director of the ABC, it was confirmed this morning.

Guthrie, who has been in media for 13 years and is currently the managing director of Google’s Asia Pacific advertising relationships, will take up the top job in May 2016.

ABC chairman James Spigelman said Guthrie’s expertise would lead the national broadcaster into the digital era.

Michelle Guthrie. Photo: YouTube.

“Michelle is an exceptional media professional with strong content, operational and board experience within internationally-respected media companies,” he said.

“She brings to the ABC her business acumen, record in content-making across an array of platforms, a deep understanding of audience needs and corporate responsibility for promoting issues like diversity.”

In the role the ex-Googler will be responsible for all editorial content and will receive a salary package of $900,000.

Guthrie began her career as a media lawyer in Sydney and has worked with a range of media companies in Australia and abroad, including Foxtel, BSkyB, and the Asian-based STAR television network. In 2007, she was appointed managing director for Providence Equity, a global investment firm focused on media, entertainment, communications and technology.

She joined Google in 2011 and is currently the firm’s managing director for Agencies in the Asia-Pacific, and is based in Singapore.

Scott, who has led the ABC since 2006, will begin a month-long handover with Guthrie in April.

The predecessor has overseen the creation of the ABC’s 24-hour news channel and the iView online catch-up service, the growth of digital radio and the use of social media in such programs as Q&A.

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