The former Intel and BBC executive Erik Huggers has been appointed chairman of Everyone TV, the organisation behind Freeview and Freesat.
Huggers currently holds several Board and advisory roles for European companies including ProSiebenSat.1, Hexagon, WeTransfer, and streaming technology provider MainStreaming, as well as being Chairman of Freepik Company. Huggers was a senior director of Microsoft in the United States and Europe, before joining the BBC in May 2007 ahead of the launch of BBC iPlayer.
Huggers will replace Caroline Thompson who is stepping down from Everyone TV, previously known as Digital UK, after 10 years. Thomson took on the role of Chair in 2012 following the delivery of the UK’s digital switchover. During the course of her tenure, the company has managed two further infrastructure projects – the clearance of the 800MHz and 700MHz bands of spectrum for mobile services, the launch of connected TV service Freeview Play, the joining of Channel 5 as a shareholder and a merger with free satellite platform, Freesat
Everyone TV CEO, Jonathan Thompson, said: “I’m delighted that the PSBs have appointed Erik as the new chairman of Everyone TV. He brings to the role a wealth of highly relevant UK and international experience and a deep understanding of the technology and media sectors. I’m really looking forward to working with him. I’d also like to thank Caroline for her expert stewardship of the organisation over the last decade, we are incredibly grateful for the passion and dedication she has shown to the company and its people.”
Huggers added: “The UK’s broadcasting sector with public service broadcasting at its heart is the envy of the world. I have long admired the principle of high-quality content delivered free at the point of use for all. As the worlds of tech and entertainment increasingly converge, it’s imperative that the distribution of free TV adapts. I’m very much looking forward to working with the public service broadcasters as well as Jonathan and his senior leadership team to help shape the next phase of free TV in the UK.”
Huggers starts the role with immediate effect and will undertake a handover with Caroline Thomson over the course of February.
Everyone TV is a joint venture owned and supported by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.