LONDON (Reuters) - ITV, Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, said its Chief Executive Adam Crozier was stepping down after seven years in the role.
The company said Finance Director Ian Griffiths would lead the executive team until it appoints a successor, helped by chairman Peter Bazalgette, who will become executive chairman during that time.
Crozier, who has grown ITV's production operations by buying independent producers in the Britain and overseas to reduce its reliance on advertising during his time in charge, will leave on June 30, the broadcaster said on Wednesday.
He said that having spent 21 years as a chief executive across four very different industries, it was the right time to move to the next stage of his career and to build a "portfolio of roles" across the PLC and private sectors.
"Today ITV is more robust, well balanced and stronger both creatively and financially than ever before, and is well placed for the digital future," Crozier said.
ITV said the company's revenue from sources other than advertising had more than doubled to almost 1.9 billion pounds in 2016, more than half of its total, under Crozier's tenure.
The broadcaster, which makes soap opera Coronation Street, has long been viewed as a takeover target in an industry that is consolidating as viewers increasingly watch content on demand and on different platforms.
Speculation has centered on U.S media group Liberty Global, which owns 9.9 percent of the broadcaster, although it has previously said it did not want to buy the group.
Crozier started his executive career at advertising group Saatchi & Saatchi in the 1990s, before moving to The Football Association and postal service Royal Mail Group.
Crozier added another non-executive role to his portfolio last month when he joined the board of Costa Coffee to Premier Inn group Whitbread .
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)