Eric Maschwitz (10 June 1901-27 October 1969) was the Head of Light Entertainment for the British Broadcasting Corporation who ordered Donald Wilson to prepare an overview of the genre of science fiction in March 1962. Wilson gave the assignment to Alice Frick and John Braybon, who reported back a few weeks later. Maschwitz then forwarded the resulting report to Donald Baverstock in May of 1962. Baverstock received the report warmly, and shortly thereafter Maschwitz pushed for a followup investigation of the specific televisual potential of science fiction. This second commission led directly to the earliest concept documents for Doctor Who. (REF: The First Doctor Handbook)
From a certain point of view, then, Maschwitz was the BBC executive who began the process of creating Doctor Who.