Vindicated former BBC chief technology officer John Linwood has been praised by the chief executive of his new employers Wood Mackenzie for his professionalism during his recent employment tribunal with the broadcaster.
In a damning verdict at the end of last week, Linwood won his landmark unfair dismissal case against the BBC after a tribunal found his summary dismissal in July 2013 was "profoundly, substantively and procedurally flawed". The BBC's culture of 'sacrificial accountability' was criticised as Linwood was singled out and expected to take full responsibility for the failure of the £100 million Digital Media Initiative.
Linwood started a new role as CTO at Edinburgh-based global energy, metals and mining research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie in June, where he is responsible for technology strategy and delivery.
Wood Mackenzie CEO Stephen Halliday said: "It is to John's enormous credit that he has been performing at an extremely high level for us while under enormous pressure as a result of this case.
"We're very lucky to have him as a key member of our senior team."
Linwood said: "The tribunal's judgment that my summary dismissal was both unreasonable and unfair is a complete vindication of my decision to fight this on a point of principle.
"I thank my family for their unwavering support throughout this process, and my excellent legal team, Louise Hobbs of Signet Partners and Stuart Ritchie QC, for their stellar advice and commitment to my case.
"I also thank my new employers, Wood Mackenzie, who were prepared to put their faith in me and offer me a job before the case had been heard."
The tribunal pointed to BBC governance failure as it found in Linwood's favour, something the CTO had stated since his appearance in front of the Public Accounts Committee hearing in January this year.
The PAC eventually found "no single individual had overall responsibility or accountability" for delivering failed £100 million DMI, while the employment tribunal castigated the culture at the BBC which sought to find a 'scapegoat' with BBC Director of Operations Dominic Coles singled out as being the "orchestrator and co-ordinator of the process" charged with getting rid of Linwood.
After the hearing, Linwood said: "Serious allegations of misconduct were made against me out of the blue and without any foundation or prior investigation. I was told to resign or be put through a disciplinary process and face dismissal. I refused to resign because I had not committed any act of misconduct.
"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.
"The Tribunal found that the entire BBC Executive was well aware of the problems of DMI throughout and that I was reporting factually through the appropriate channels.
"I believe I was made a scapegoat by the BBC. I am profoundly grateful to the Employment Tribunal for getting to the heart of this whole sorry episode."
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