UK regulator Ofcom has appointed Sharon White as its new Chief Executive.

White replaces Ed Richards, who is to step down at the end of December following eight years of service as Ofcom’s Chief Executive.

She will join the regulator in March 2015 from HM Treasury, where she is Second Permanent Secretary.

The appointment includes a pay packet of £275,000 per annum.

White said: "The communications sector is vital to the economy and delivers essential services to everyone in the UK. I look forward to starting in this fascinating job and building on Ofcom's considerable track record."

White brings with her 25 years’ experience working in the UK’s public sector and Government.

Dame Patricia Hodgson, Ofcom Chairman, commented: "Sharon brings with her an outstanding combination of intellect, political acumen and experience leading complex public organisations.

"The Ofcom Board is confident that Sharon will provide the leadership and vision to ensure Ofcom continues to promote a thriving communications sector in the UK that operates in the public interest."

Steve Unger, Director of Ofcom's Strategy, International, Technology and Economist Group, will step up as Acting Chief Executive in the interim.

One of White's first jobs could be to oversee one of the biggest telecoms mergers in the UK.

On Monday, BT confirmed it was in exclusive talks with Deutsche Telekom and Orange to acquire EE for £12.5 billion (€15.7 billion).

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