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Adam Crozier is leaving his post from the helm of ITV after seven years to “build a portfolio of roles across the PLC and private sectors”.

In a statement, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster said it has a “well developed succession plan in place” for when Mr Crozier departs in June “after seven very successful years.”

Chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette said ITV and the board were “deeply indebted to him for his strong leadership”. Sir Peter will assume an interim role of executive chairman while Ian Griffiths will assume a new combined role of chief operating officer and finance director also for an interim period.

Sir Peter added: “Adam has been talking to me and the Board for some time now about his future plans.”

ITV, which airs Downton Abbey and The X Factor, is facing declining TV advertising sales and competition from streaming services such as Netflix. In response it has focused on creating more content, having scooped up multiple production companies on a buying spree in recent years. However it was forced to announce 120 job cuts last October which it blamed on “political and economic uncertainty”, and also suffered a blow last August when it abandoned its pursuit of Entertainment One, the majority owner of children’s cartoon franchise Peppa Pig, after its £1bn takeover bid was rejected.

Mr Crozier took a 12 per cent pay cut in 2016 after the company failed to hit profit targets. He received a total of £3.4m for 2016, according to the company’s annual report, with his cash and share bonuses shrinking 57 per cent to £677,000.

He said he would miss the company but added that “having spent 21 years as a chief executive across four very different industries, I now feel that the time is right for me to move to the next stage of my career and to build a portfolio of roles across the PLC and private sectors.”

At the time of Sir Peter Bazalgette’s appointment as chairman last February, it was reported that Mr Crozier was expected to stay in his role for at least another two years.

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