BBC man had to leave Microsoft to innovate

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Six months after leaving Microsoft, BBC future media and technology controller Erik Huggers has blogged on the BBC Internet blog that he actually had to leave Microsoft in order to innovate. Formerly the senior director for Microsoft’s entertainment business (notes PaidContentUK), with responsibility for driving Windows Media adoption amongst European broadcasters, Huggers blogs today:

“I had great success stories but also my share of failures during the Microsoft years. However hard I worked, I was always trying to convince third parties to adopt platform technologies. My true passion is all about using cutting edge digital media technologies to establish new innovative services for consumers. When I realized that, I knew that it was time to move on.”

Oh dear. Can someone please tell the Blue Monster, Microsoft’s unofficial innovation mascot?

Huggers also managed to attract Jon Billings from the Windows Media team to the iPlayer project and former MSN developer Anthony Rose as head of digital media technology at the BBC. But there is a down-side to this brave new world of innovation. He now constantly gets asked why he joined a corporation which has no stock options and where he is effectively a civil servant. Indeed.

  • steve clayton

    Mike, plenty are still here doing innovation. Not sure a sample of 3 counts as a condemnation of any innovation in the business :)

    I’ve let the appropriate monster authorities know though ;)

  • Mike Butcher

    And come to think of it, the BBC hardly has a good history in the innovation stakes, as anyone who knows Tom Coates (now of Yahoo, in US) and Ben Metcalfe (now Seesmic and MySpace in US) could tell you:

  • JohnofScribbleSheet

    Its shame someone has to leave one of the leading software companies to innovate but as you say, the BBC is hardly a hotspot of innovation. Look at the Iplayer.

  • harry billings

    the iplayer is a huge innovation

  • TechCrunch UK » Blog Archive » Turmoil at Joost as CTO sacked then hired by BBC on the same day

    […] is it with tech companies losing out to the grand old BBC all of a sudden? Last year I blogged how, six months after leaving Microsoft, BBC future media and technology controller Erik Huggers […]

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