Huggers leaves BBC to head Intel unit

Erik Huggers, who oversaw the iPlayer as head of the BBC's future media and technology division, will head up the chipmaker's home digital group

Erik Huggers, who oversaw development of the iPlayer as head of the BBC's future media and technology division, is leaving the broadcaster to take charge of Intel's digital home group.

The BBC announced Huggers' departure on Tuesday by praising his performance in the role — in particular the performance of the BBC iPlayer streaming TV service — which it said has changed public perception of the broadcaster as a digital innovator.

iPlayer chief Huggers leaves BBC

iPlayer chief Erik Huggers has left the BBC for Intel. Photo credit: Jöran Maaswinkel

"During his tenure, BBC Online, BBC Red Button and BBC Mobile have seen exceptional growth, while BBC iPlayer delivered a record 145 million TV and radio programme views across some 60 devices during December," the corporation said in a statement.

At the BBC, Huggers directed the delivery of content over the internet, interactive TV and on mobile devices. He also led research and development, and oversaw the BBC Archives and the BBC's Broadcast and Enterprise Technology Group, according to his new employer, Intel.

Huggers, who took up the leading future media and technology role at the BBC in July 2008, will leave the broadcaster at the end of February. Before that, he was group controller of the same division.

On 1 March, the BBC will split the future media and technology division into two more-distinct areas, the broadcaster said. Chief technology officer John Linwood will take over the reins of the technology division, while chief operating officer Caroline Thomson will have overall leadership of the group. Ralph Rivera will head the future media unit, which includes the iPlayer service.

In a statement, Intel president and chief executive Paul Otellini welcomed Huggers to the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker, praising his experience in "delivering new platforms, interactive content and services".

"This is a tremendous opportunity to build a new business for silicon, software and services to unlock the potential of high-quality connected media experiences in the living room," Huggers said in an Intel statement.

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