Dame Melanie Dawes faces tech battle as Ofcom chief | News

The broadcast regulator has appointed Dame Melanie Dawes, the most senior woman in the civil service, as its chief executive as it prepares for new powers to police technology companies.

Dame Melanie, 53, will join Ofcom next month after stepping down as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, a post she has held since 2015.

The appointment was confirmed yesterday as the government considers expanding Ofcom’s role as an internet watchdog with the power to fine and prosecute social media companies. The final policy decision on the new powers will not be taken until spring.

Dame Sharon White, 52, left the post in June to be chairwoman of the John Lewis chain. Ofcom is also seeking to appoint a

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