The programme was cancelled in May 2013 by incoming director-general Tony Hall after the BBC concluded that most of the £125.9 million it had spent had been wasted. Linwood had his contract cancelled the following July.
DMI would have enabled all BBC production staff to effectively create programmes from their desktops, had been suspended last autumn. Established in 2008, it had been viewed as a key plank in the way digital video was shared around the corporation in the light of the move of programmes such as Breakfast and Blue Peter to the new facility in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Linwood had claimed he had been made ‘the fall guy” for the failure of the initiative and the tribunal agreed, reaching its verdict unanimously.
“Serious allegations of misconduct were made against me out of the blue and without any foundation or prior investigation. I was told to resign or be put through a disciplinary process and face dismissal. I refused to resign because I had not committed any act of misconduct,” said Linwood.
The BBC was criticised for the manner in which Linwood had been treated; he was charged with gross misconduct and disciplinary proceedings begun against him.
However, two other complaints brought by Linwood were dismissed.
A BBC spokesperson told Broadband TV News: “This was a very difficult set of circumstances for the BBC. We had a major failure of a significant project, and we had lost confidence – as the tribunal acknowledges – in John Linwood. At the time we believed we acted appropriately. The tribunal has taken a different view – we are disappointed with the outcome, but nevertheless we will learn lessons from the judgment and we’re grateful to staff who were involved in dealing with a very difficult case.”
Linwood joined the BBC in 2009 on a salary of £280,000 from Yahoo!, where he was Senior Vice President of International Engineering.