BBC confirms future media director

Huggers to start new role in August

LONDON — The BBC has confirmed the appointment of former Microsoft topper Erik Huggers as its new director of future media and technology.

Huggers, currently group controller of the division, succeeds Ashley Highfield, who recently left the Corp to run Kangaroo, the working title for a proposed new U.K. video on-demand service owned by the BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 currently being examined by competition regulators.

Huggers, who joined the BBC in May 2007, begins his new role August 1, when he will also join the org’s executive board.

This key job gives Huggers responsibility for all the BBC’s new media activities and control of an annual budget believed to be around £800 million.

Having overseen the success of the Corp’s considerable website presence and the high-profile catch-up service, the BBC iPlayer, Highfield is a hard act to follow.

Said BBC director-general Mark Thompson: “Erik has been a very strong group controller of future media and technology for the last year. He has shown tremendous commitment championing the iPlayer, amongst many other projects.

“I look forward to him bringing his drive and determination to this new role, helping ensure the BBC is fit for the digital future.”

Said Huggers: “I now look forward to, along with my team, collaborating with colleagues across the BBC to ensure we respond to audience demands in providing exciting and innovative new ways of delivering the BBC’s content across a range of media.”

He was born and educated in the Netherlands, where he set up MSN for Microsoft during a nine-year stint at the software giant.

Previously Huggers was employed by Endemol as director of business development in the interactive division.

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