John Linwood, who is claiming unfair dismissal, tells tribunal project only accounted for an average of 5% of his working time
Former BBC chief technology officer John Linwood has claimed he was a “fall guy” for the failed £100m Digital Media Initiative, which was scrapped last year by director general Tony Hall.
Linwood is claiming unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal in London after being sacked by the BBC from his £287,000-a-year job over the DMI debacle.
However, giving evidence on Wednesday, he described himself as the “admiral of the fleet” of the BBC’s technology division, rather than the “captain” of DMI.
He estimated that the DMI project – which was supposed to make the BBC ‘tapeless’ – accounted for an average of around 5% of his “working time as CTO” and argued that in the four years he was at the BBC “technology delivered hundreds of projects successfully.”
However the BBC argued that as Linwood was project sponsor and chair of the DMI steering group he was ultimately responsible for the project and its subsequent failure.
During his evidence to the tribunal, Linwood was asked about an internal email which discussed a proposed “plan B” to DMI that was being formulated after more than two years of delays had made the BBC nervous that the project would not happen.
The corporation claims the email – which referred to keeping information about the plan B on a need to know basis – showed Linwood was “secretive about the technological problems of DMI”.