Former FremantleMedia UK chief executive Sara Geater has won the race to become chair of Pact council in the organisation’s first contested election in at least 14 years.

Geater secured the most votes from Pact members who are qualifying indies, beating Nine Lives Media boss Cat Lewis and Outline Productions managing director Laura Mansfield to the role. Both will remain council members.

Geater left Fremantle in May and is now executive chair of fledgling drama producer Emerald Films, which is run by Carol Ann and Aileen Docherty.

In her manifesto, Geater said she would use her experience at C4, ITV, the BBC and Fremantle to help Pact “face some very big issues in 2015/16”, including charter renewal and terms of trade negotiations.

In January she will replace Keo Films managing director Debbie Manners, who stepped down after five years as chair of the council having served her term. 

Serving a two-year term, Geater will be joined by three new council members: Zig Zag chief executive Danny Fenton and Wingspan Productions managing director Archie Baron and Gillane Seaborne, the chief executive of Midnight Oil Productions.

They will replace Endemol HR director Bella Lambourne, Samuelson Productions founder Marc Samuelson, Cube chief executive Wil Stephens and Collingwood & Co founder Tony Collingwood.

This article was first published in Broadcast.