BBC HR head quits after criticism over severance scandal

The BBC's embattled director of human resources, Lucy Adams, has had to quit her job after she was accused of presiding over 'corporate fraud and cronyism' in the severance payoff scandal, it emerged last night.

Ms Adams, who receives an yearly salary of £320,000, plans to leave the BBC at the end of the financial year in March 2014. Adams, will not receive a severance payment.

She was severely criticised by MPs at last month's hearing of the Commons Public Accounts committee (PAC) for the controversial severance deals with senior BBC managers, including the £1 million paid to former deputy director general Mark Byford.

Ms. Adams, who joined the BBC in 2009 and will leave in March next year, said on Thursday that she has been discussing her decision to leave the BBC with the corporation's director-general Tony Hall for quite a while and by next spring she will be at BBC for five years and thinks it is time to try something  new.

The National Audit Office and the Metropolitan police found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing at the BBC over severance pay.

It is thought the timing of her departure has been orchestrated in anticipation of a second Commons hearing into the severance pay scandal on 9 September.

She is expected to undergo another grilling over her role in the debacle, which saw £369million handed to outgoing staff over eight years – including £60million to 401 senior managers since 2005.

Sharon Baylay, director of marketing who left in 2011 after two years of service, got just under £400,000 while Patrick Loughrey, director of nations and regions, landed a £866,000 deal in 2009.

Tony Hall, who has put a £150,000 cap on all future severance payments, admitted  the corporation 'lost its way' over severance deals.