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Japan House London appoints New Director General

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Sam Thorne, New Director General and CEO of Japan House London
New CEO: art director Sam Thorne to start a new role at Japan House in October

Sam Thorne, Director of Nottingham Contemporary, has been appointed as the new Director General and CEO of Japan House London. He starts on 17 October 2022.

A unique and widely praised model, the Japan House project was set up with the vision of bringing cultural immersion to the high street, offering visitors the opportunity to encounter and be surprised by Japan in an accessible way.

Thorne takes over from the founding Director General, Mike Houlihan, who steps down at the end of October after overseeing the development of Japan House London from initial concept to highly successful London cultural venue. Mike, with his wealth of experience in turning creative ideas into reality and building strong organizational foundations for cultural institutions around the world, has led the team at Japan House London to deliver 14 exhibitions and over 650 events, attracting a total of 1.2m visitors since opening in June 2018, with many more engaging, internationally, online. As an influential figure in the sphere of arts and culture, his ability to forge strong artistic, academic and business partnerships has allowed the organisation not only to cement its position in London’s cultural fabric, but also to act as a catalyst for the development of meaningful relationships between Japan, the UK and Europe.

Sam Thorne has spent the last six years leading the team at Nottingham Contemporary, one of the UK’s leading centres of contemporary art, with a pioneering programme of exhibitions, events, research, retail and food – all key elements of the experience at Japan House London. Nottingham Contemporary was shortlisted for the 2019 Museum of the Year, and Sam was named by Apollo Magazine as one of “40 Under 40” most influential global thinkers. Prior to joining Nottingham Contemporary, Sam was Artistic Director of Tate St Ives and Associate Editor of frieze magazine.

“I am thrilled to be joining Japan House London as Director General and CEO. On a personal note, I have a longstanding relationship with Japan and its cultures; I first visited as a child, with my Japanese-speaking mother, and since then have travelled extensively around the country. Along the way, I have developed collaborations and dialogues with Japanese artists, musicians and architects; while at the Tate, I curated an exhibition exploring the relationships between Japanese and British studio pottery. At a time when transnational dialogue and cultural exchange are more important than ever, I believe that JHL is ideally placed to help shape the dialogues and partnerships of the future. I look forward to working with the team to build on the brilliant work of the founding director, Mike Houlihan, to start this new chapter.”, who has worked with a wide range of museums and galleries around the world curating numerous solo shows with artists such as Paul Chan, Lara Favaretto and Wu Tsang, as well as thematic exhibitions on subjects ranging from spiritualism to ceramics. He was a co-founder of Open School East, the free-to-attend art school, and author of the book School (2017). He has taught and lectured widely, and is a regular contributor to a number of art publications.

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BBC World Service chief resigns amid ‘deep concern’ about cuts

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Liliane Landor portrait
Liliane Landor will step down in July after three years as Senior Controller of BBC News International Services

Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and BBC World Service Director, has decided to leave the BBC later this year, a note released by the British Broadcast Corporation informed this week.

According to multiple media outlets, Landor said she was “deeply concerned about the operational capability of the World Service if additional cuts continue to weaken it further” and has quit over amid fear that the BBC could be hit by further spending cuts. 

Liliane Landor was previously head of foreign news at Channel 4, but has spent the majority of her career at the BBC after beginning at the French Service. She went on to manage, present, and edit key areas of the BBC World Service, including a role as head of News and Current Affairs in English, before becoming Controller of Languages, where she was editorially responsible for all non-English language services on radio, TV and online.

“The whole of the BBC owes Liliane a huge debt of gratitude. She is an exceptional journalist and editor. The BBC World Service is one of the jewels in the BBC’s crown, and has flourished under her leadership,” says BBC Director-General Tim Davie.

For BBC News CEO Deborah Turness, “In a polarised world where truth is under attack, Liliane has led our BBC World Service teams with real courage. She has been a global ambassador for our powerful and important journalism, and has worked with great skill to modernise World Service output to reach digital audiences. Liliane is a person of great integrity and I will miss her wisdom very much.”

In 2022 the World Service was forced to cut 382 jobs as part of its plans to move to a digital-led service, that would save around £28.5m. 

Several media professionals shared messages of support to Landor, after learning about her decision to quit the BBC. Comms director and ex BBC news staff member, Clare Harkey tweeted:

“So sorry to hear you’re leaving @lilo11- you’ve been a force for good in very difficult times,” and TV Journalist and Executive Producer Ben de Pear, founder at Basement Films, shared on social media: “Sorry to hear this a loss – and someone who understands the present conflicts so well – good luck @lilo11 – BBC World Service director to step down.”

“Serving as Director of the BBC World Service has been an immense privilege. To have been entrusted with leading a global service relied upon by hundreds of millions worldwide is humbling and the greatest honour of my professional life,” said Liliane Landor, who will be leaving the BBC in July, 2024.

Liliane also founded the BBC’s staff network, Global Women in News, which remains high-profile and active, and launched the popular 100 Women project in 2014, being named on the list herself in 2016.

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Nimesh Kataria to join England and Wales Cricket Board as CFO

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Nimesh Kataria to join England and Wales Cricket Board as CFO
Nimesh will succeed Scott Smith, who is leaving the ECB after eight years in the role.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced Nimesh Kataria as new Chief Financial Officer.

Nimesh will join the ECB in April, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in financial management and strategic planning. He will sit on the ECB Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nimesh to the ECB at an important time for our sport. His proven track record in financial management and strategic insight will be invaluable as we seek to grow cricket and become the most inclusive sport, whilst ensuring we put the game on a financially sustainable footing,” says Richard Gould, ECB Chief Executive Officer.

In his current role, Nimesh is Chief Financial Officer for WBD’s International Sports Division, overseeing Eurosport, Global Cycling Network, Discovery Sports Events and the Olympics. He also played a key role in the recent TNT Sports Joint Venture between WBD and BT. Nimesh began his career at Ernst & Young, before joining WBD.

“I am proud to be joining the ECB and hope to be able to play a part in growing cricket and helping even more people to fall in love with the sport. I’ve been a cricket fan my whole life, and while there are real challenges for the whole game in England and Wales to navigate, I’m excited by the opportunity we have to become the most inclusive sport and secure the future of cricket for future generations to play, watch and enjoy,” celebrates Nimesh Kataria.

In his new role, Nimesh will be responsible for financial reporting and business planning. His work will enable the organisation to budget effectively, control expenditure and deliver its revenue objectives. He will also lead key business services including Information and Technology and Procurement, as well as the Finance team.

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New study reveals the poorest presidents of Europe

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Nataša Pirc Musar, President of the Republic of Slovenia
Nataša Pirc Musar, head of the Republic of Slovenia, is the poorest president in Europe, study says | Photo: Matjaz Klemenc

Slovenia has the poorest president in Europe. Relative to average salaries, the presidents of Ukraine and Serbia follow closely as the second and third poorest on the continent. Across Europe, heads of state earn 4.1 times as much as the average earner and cost taxpayers €49.62 per hour. 

This is according to a new study by Slot.Day, who analysed the average gross salaries, GDP per capita and presidents’ earnings across 31 countries in Europe. The researchers used the latest available data from national statistics offices and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), ranging between 2022 and the third quarter of 2023. GDP data is sourced from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook, published in October 2023. Head of state income estimates are based on independent media reports, national legislation, government and presidency websites, income statements and official government communication. 

Europe’s poorest president lives in Slovenia. The president earns almost as much as any average employee in the country. The head of state has an estimated gross annual income of €44,701, only 3% higher than the current average salary in Slovenia – €43,342. An hour of the president’s time costs taxpayers €23.41 before deductions – one of the top 10 cheapest hourly pays for presidents in Europe. Slovenia is a country of medium wealth, whose GDP per capita (US$32,350) is slightly below the European average of US$34,710 for 2023, according to IMF estimates. The Slovenian president’s work is worth 1.5 of the country’s GDP per capita.  

Ukraine has the second lowest-paid president in Europe, relative to other average earners in the country. Based on official government communication, the Ukrainian president’s gross annual salary in 2023 was only €8,134, which is 1.63 worth of any average earner in the country. This is the lowest pay of any president in Europe, costing Ukrainian taxpayers only €4.26 per hour, before deductions, to carry out all their duties as head of state. Ukraine’s current GDP per capita is also the lowest in Europe, estimated at €5,245 for 2023. The president earns only 70% above that. 

Serbia’s president is the third poorest in Europe. With an hourly compensation of just €10.77, before tax, the head of state earns €20,564 per year. This is worth only 1.68 of the average salary in Serbia, estimated at €12,258. Serbia’s GDP per capita is the eighth lowest in Europe (US$11,301), and the president’s salary is almost double this amount. 

The presidents of Lithuania and Montenegro earn under two average salaries in their countries, while those in Croatia and Moldova earn just above this level. Finland, Latvia and Bosnia and Herzegovina complete the top 10 poorest presidents of Europe. Finland is the only country in Slot.Day’s ranking whose GDP per capita (US$54,507) is well above the European average (US$34,710).  

Richest presidents 

The richest presidents in Europe live in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Ireland when comparing their official incomes to average salaries.  

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