In April 2001 Tony Hall, who made editor of the BBC's 9 o' clock news at age 24, became the CEO of the Royal Opera House.
Tony Hall will take up his position March 2013, replacing George Entwistle who left the BBC under a cloud of scandal at the British broadcaster after having served only 54 days.
Lord Patten, chairperson of the BBC Trust, said that Tony Hall's appointment will "prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences".
Lord Patten wrote to BBC staff saying that Tony Hall was "an insider and is currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the corporation's culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world."
"And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the criticisms that are levelled at the corporation – both those that are justified and those that are not. But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his experience as a former BBC journalist will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild its reputation in this area."
In a statement Tony Hall says " I believe passionately in the BBC and that's why I have accepted Lord Patten's invitation to become director general. This organisation is an incredibly important part of what makes the United Kingdom what it is. And of course it matters not just to people in this country – but to tens of millions around the world too."
"It's been a difficult few weeks – but together we'll get through it. I'm committed to ensuring our news services are the best in the world."
"I'm committed to making this a place where creative people, the best and the brightest, want to work. And I know from my first days here as a news trainee, to my time as head of news and current affairs, to my time now at the Royal Opera House, that I can't do it on my own. Having the right teams working together, sparking off each other, is key. And I want to build a world class team to lead a world class BBC."