Ex-BBC and online video leader joins MSN and Microsoft

Ashley Highfield, a former chief of new technology at the BBC and current head of online video venture Kangaroo, is moving to run MSN and other Microsoft consumer and online businesses in the UK.
 
In a statement, Microsoft announced Highfield’s appointment as Managing Director and vice president of Consumer & Online UK.
Consumer and Online is a newly established organisation within Microsoft which brings together MSN and other products and services across PC, mobile and the internet.
 
Microsoft said Highfield would be responsible for Windows for consumers, Windows Mobile, Windows Live, MSN, Live Search and Microsoft Advertising.
"This is a great time to be joining Microsoft – the new Windows advertising and marketing campaign is just the start of what should be an exciting next stage in the company’s history and I’m pleased to be a part of it.  Microsoft has an unrivalled set of consumer products and services available to the UK consumer, from MSN and Hotmail to Windows. Bringing them together, and taking them forward to be more than the sum of their parts, is an amazing opportunity," Highfield said in a statement.
 
He joins Microsoft from Kangaroo, the proposed video-on-demand joint venture between the BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.
Previously he was Director of New Media & Technology and an executive board member for the BBC where most recently he launched the BBC iPlayer.
 
More news and background on the appointment can be found on The Guardian website, Times Online and PaidContent.co.uk

 

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24 Responses to Ex-BBC and online video leader joins MSN and Microsoft

  1. mark says:

    I am sure great news particulary for Ashley and hopefully for the service , but is it really home page editorial for the visitors /customers/public ?

  2. Peter says:

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I believe it is warranted. MSN has millions of loyal UK readers and I think they deserve to know who is behind the site. I also felt it would be odd to have this item on other media and not on ours. It has been widely reported today. However, I agree it is a debatable call. I just came down on that side. – Peter Bale, MSN UK

  3. Reginald Iolanthe says:

    After successfully decimating the BBC\’s world leading R&D Dept at Kingswood Warren and such a long and distinguished career at Kangaroo, one wonders what lies in wait for Microsoft !!

  4. Unknown says:

    Just what MSN needs. Against a whole load of uphill politics, Highfield took BBC Online from a bunch of infighting baronies and turned it into the only bit of the BBC that deserves the licence fee. If he can do the same at Microsoft, that\’ll be quite some achievement. And anyone who decimates parts of the bloated Beeb (whatever R&D is/was) sounds like he was just doing some over-due cost cutting.

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