Peter Salmon admitted he was “enormously proud” of his time leading the development of MediaCityUK after it was confirmed he would be taking a new post as director of BBC Studios.
Currently the BBC’s director, England, Salmon oversaw the corporation’s set-up of its Northern base in Salford.
His position will be taken by Helen Boaden, director of Radio, who will add the role to her other duties without any increase in salary. Salmon will also remain on the same salary.
The BBC Studios division was created last year as part of BBC director general Tony Hall’s “compete or compare” revolution, one of the biggest shake-ups in its programme-making history.
The new division will contain the drama, entertainment, comedy and factual programme-making departments, and the corporation would be free to make programmes for every broadcaster in the UK.
BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, said: “I’m confident that Peter will bring all the energy and creativity he’s shown at BBC England to this job.
“He’s got a great track record as a programme maker and a creative leader and I believe he’s the right person to help shape and mould BBC Studios. I’ve now asked him to work closely with the rest of the BBC to ensure Studios draws on talent from across the Corporation.”
Salmon added: “This is a great opportunity to build a new model for BBC Production and work with some of the best people in the business. Our in-house teams across the UK are responsible for some of the most popular and high-quality television in the world.
“Programmes like Strictly, Doctor Who, Luther and Frozen Planet show that they can compete with producers anywhere and I want to build on that success.
“I’ve loved my time starting a successful creative community at BBC North in Salford and then with the BBC England team but this was too important an opportunity to pass over. I’m looking forward to getting down to work with new colleagues soon.”
Salmon added on his blog that it “feels like a good time to bow out… I’m enormously proud of what we’ve achieved in seven years. It’s been a dream, actually. I know those achievements will continue as we seek to build a new BBC.”
Salmon, who was controller of BBC1 between 1997 and 2000, is also a former director of BBC Sport and co-inventor of Sport Relief. Earlier in his career he produced the likes of Crimewatch UK and was also executive producer of Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit animation The Wrong Trousers.
Appointed director of BBC North at the end of 2008, he has led the launch of the BBC’s second largest UK production centre in Salford as the organisation made its biggest ever move outside of London.
Over 3,000 BBC staff are now at MediaCityUK with a further 200 technology posts moving to Salford in 2015.