The BBC's director of marketing, Matthew Bannister, who was a key appointment in Greg Dyke's new, streamlined BBC management structure outlined in April, has quit the corporation without a job to go to.
Bannister, whose installation in the top marketing post at the BBC in the spring led to the resignation of Sue Farr, the BBC's director of public service marketing, will leave the corporation on 15 December.
Until then, he will work on the restructure of the newly combined marketing and communications department.
Bannister said: 'It's a personal decision and reflects my desire to work in a different way. I have come to a point where I think it would be interesting to work in a smaller company in a more entrepreneurial way. It's no reflection on the BBC or on Greg Dyke.'
Bannister added that he did not 'expect to take a job in another major corporation' and that he may work for himself.
Although Bannister denied it was an odd move to quit such a pivotal role at the BBC just six months into the job, industry observers suggest that he faced a difficult, complex role that was made harder by a background that was not in traditional marketing.
The creative review of the BBC's roster of agencies will continue, with a decision expected within the next few weeks.
Headhunters have been briefed to find a replacement for Bannister.