Ashley Highfield is CEO of Johnston Press, one of the largest local media groups in the UK. He has worked in high levels in companies including Microsoft - where he was UK Managing Director (Consumer & Online) - and the BBC, where he was responsible for the development and launch of BBC iPlayer. During his tenure there he oversaw a growth in the BBC's online presence from 3.5m to 17m users. In June 2015 Culture Secretary John Whittingdale named Ashley as one of eight people on an advisory board tasked with working on the renewal of the BBC's Royal Charter, which sets out the corporation's remit. In October 2015 he was appointed Chairman of the News Media Association and also holds a non-executive role on the board of William Hill plc.