Matthew Littleford is to become the chair of The Reading Agency following Liz Cleaver's 10-year stint.
Formerly joint m.d of betty, one of the UK’s leading TV production companies, Littleford will join the national literacy charity in January.
He said: “Liz has done a great job and I’m looking forward to building on her achievements, I can’t wait to work with Sue, the board and the team in delivering on our objectives, growing the charity and making a massive difference.”
At betty, Littleford was responsible for running the business, editorial strategy, overseeing its people and culture, business affairs and production management, and prior to this he was editorial director for Digital at BBC Worldwide, where he managed the editorial proposition across the BBC's portfolio of brands and platforms. His other former roles include controller of UKTV and controller of entertainment for ITV’s digital channels.
Littleford is also a trustee for Frantic Assembly and Plaines Plough, two of the country’s leading theatre companies.
Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said: “It has been a privilege to work with Liz and I would like to thank her for the massive contribution she has made as chair.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Matthew, other trustees and our amazing Reading Agency team and partners to deliver our ambitious plans for the future. We want to involve even more people in our transformative reading programmes and we know that Matthew’s commercial, marketing and digital experience and his huge passion for our cause will be a great asset in helping us to achieve our goals.”
Cleaver, who joined as chair in 2008 after being controller at BBC1, said: “It has been a great privilege chairing The Reading Agency and seeing it expand to make a real difference to more and more children and adults.”
She described her successor as “a great appointment, who fully appreciates the importance of our work, and I am sure will successfully lead the organisation through the next phase of its development”.
Tony Durcan, vice chair of The Reading Agency and head of the recruitment panel, added that he was "confident" Littleford's contribution would "take the charity into an even stronger phase”.