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BBC CTO was 'unfairly dismissed' after botched IT project

An employment tribunal has declared John Linwood, former BBC CTO, was unfairly dismissed for the role he played in the failure of the Beeb's Digital Media Initiative (DMI).

The DMI was the broadcaster’s £94.8m plan to move away from physical programming and archiving and use digital alternatives instead.

However, the project encountered significant technical issues, ultimately being branded as a “complete failure” by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

When DMI was shelved, the BBC decided to sack then-CTO Linwood over the affair.

In May, he spoke out, claiming that he had been used as the “fall guy” for the failed programme and the hundreds of projects he had delivered successfully were being overlooked.

The alleged wrongdoing had now been presented to an employment tribunal, which claimed the BBC had “cavalier disregard” for the disciplinary process.

“Some responsibility to be taken”

Despite this, the tribunal rejected other complaints the former CTO placed against his former employer and said he did have a role to play in the loss of his job.

“Serious allegations of misconduct were made against me out of the blue and without any foundation or prior investigation,” claimed Linwood after hearing.

“The employment tribunal has now found that the allegations made against me were ‘general, vague, broad in nature and non-specific’ and ‘virtually impossible to address in any practical way’ and that my summary dismissal was profoundly procedurally and substantively unfair,” he added.

The BBC claims that it was disappointed over the decision, but the failure of DMI had been a “very difficult set of circumstances.”