Kangaroo’s Highfield hops to Microsoft

Exec to head U.K. consumer, online operations

LONDON — Ashley Highfield is ankling as chief exec of Kangaroo, an online TV service being developed by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, to join Microsoft.

Highfield will serve as Microsoft’s managing director of U.K. consumer and online operations.

The launch of Kangaroo, which will offer downloads of the three broadcasters’ programs, is being held up by the U.K.’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition Commission. The site’s debut has been pushed back to mid-2009 at the earliest.

Highfield was formerly director of new media and technology at the BBC, where he developed the pubcaster’s highly popular video-on-demand service, the iPlayer.

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