Penny Hughes, quondam president of Coca-Cola UK, has been named the new chairman of state-owned TV broadcaster Channel 4.

Formerly seen as an outside bet for the post, Hughes has overtaken several high-profile contenders to become the first female chairman of a British TV firm.

She was chosen late last week by communications regulator Ofcom, with the decision later confirmed by culture, media and sport secretary Tessa Jowell. Hughes replaces Vanni Treves, who has been named chairman of US headhunter Korn/Ferry International.

Also in the running for the C4 post were Hans Snook (founder of Orange), Miranda Curtis (president of Liberty Media International), Stuart Rose (ex-chairman of retail firm Arcadia) and former favourite Bob Phillis (ceo of Guardian Media Group).

The position, which is non-executive and pays around £66,000 ($120,546; €95,807) a year, is considered one of the most high-profile roles in UK broadcasting.

Hughes left Coca-Cola nine years ago to start a family. She has since picked up directorships at Vodafone, Gap and Trinity Mirror.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff