Mark Thompson, the BBC's director general, has signalled to senior colleagues that he is ready to step down, with insiders believing he will quit at the end of 2012 or early in 2013, at the end of the broadcaster's Olympic year. Britain's most powerful television executive has not given an exact timetable for his departure, but friends say he acknowledges that he has entered the final chapter of his eight-year director-generalship and is “psychologically ready” to leave a job that paid him £779,000 last year.

Thompson, 54, took over the helm at the BBC in the wake of the resignations of Greg Dyke as director general and Gavyn Davies as chairman.

— © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2012

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